They’re Everywhere

I used to feel a bit like the invisible person in my university (this was helped by a string of long-time employees never recognizing me at all, even though I was the longest-serving woman in my program). I realized that I don’t feel that way anymore; I haven’t in several years. One of the reasons? My students, and former students: they’re everywhere!

My students, or former students, can be found teaching at the high schools and grade schools. They’re also off at graduate schools or working post-doc. My students work for the federal government, the provincial government and the municipal government. They work in offices of all sorts, at the banks, the bookstore, the furniture store, the restaurant and at pretty much any place in the mall. My students are journalists, on television and in print. My students are artists, writers and homemakers.

My once and future students are amazing. I realize that while I might not always be noticeable to the staff around the university, to my students I’ll always be recognizable as Professor Ancarett. And as the numbers of students I’ve taught are well into the thousands, that’s a pretty good legacy, isn’t it?

8 Responses to “They’re Everywhere”

  1. Belle Says:

    Isn’t it a great feeling? I was in the caf, and a student I knew slightly came over. Told me that she’d been a roommate of Pretty Girl #17, who was now in grad school to teach history ‘because of Dr Belle.’ I was blown away; pleased to my toes.

    Those moments compensate for grading hell.

  2. ancarett Says:

    Yes, there’s nothing like hearing a cheery, “Hi there, Professor!” when you’re out a store or walking down the street, then getting a chance to catch up with someone who really loved your classes.

  3. PhilosopherP Says:

    I teach at a community college — and live very close to school — so, I really have a hard time going anyplace without seeing students. It used to bother me a bit, but now I like it.

  4. Ozymandia Says:

    I’m not a student, but I will always remember how surprised I was to find out you know Dr. Muhlberger, one of my previous profs. I loved his classes and lectures, and he’s the reason I have the nickname I have online. Small world,, eh?

    Professors can influence in a lot of different ways. I hope you’re remembered by all your students for a very long time to come. :)

  5. Nettie Says:

    The up side is that your students invite you ’round for lunch and to give guest lectures at dinners (meal-oriented? me?).

    The down side is when they get killed and you wish you’d known them better.

  6. sm Says:

    There are always people at less prestigious universities (much as I love mine, it is less prestigious than many) but our students need our best as much as anyone else at any other institution.

    In a recent poll my university came in as top in the country for giving our students what they consider an enriched extra-curricular experience. I was taken aback since despite recent growth and considerable diversification we’re still a small school in a small city. But I know, too, that many of our students come from really small towns. We are giving them what they need.

    And they are giving each other what they need.

    This is an honorable profession.

  7. sm Says:

    PS — re staff and faculty I am now pretty recognizable as one of the old timers. Most of the people I considered old timers have retired.

  8. ancarett Says:

    PhilosopherP, I know what you mean. I was a little weirded out the first time one of my students served me at the bookstore. (They really examine your choice of reading material when they know you’re a prof!)

    Nettie — the dinners sound grand, the losses devastating. I’ve only seen one of my students go off to war directly from my classroom (this was in ‘91 when Bosnia was in turmoil and he went to fight for his homeland) and I know that was difficult enough.

    Oz, it IS a small world, isn’t it?

    SM, I remember when you got that job. My, how time flies!

    As for the enriching extra-curricular, I’m not too surprised. For all of the difficulties your campus has had growing to keep up with the enormous growth in enrollment and programs, you’ve succeeded at keeping an atmosphere that links the students to the community in really impressive ways!