In the perambulation of this life, at various points I may have heard the word ‘educator’ used as a pejorative………as in “the educators have gained control of the process”, implying whatever negative connotation, you, dear reader, may apply to the process of teaching.

I cannot support that usage any longer.

My institution of higher learning is closed for spring break this week. Students have scattered to the four corners of partydom, wreaking havoc on whatever hot spot can be affordably reached; professors are doing whatever professors do when not in class (most likely devising incredibly demanding assignments to drop on the unsuspecting, hungover kids the first day after the ‘vacation’).

At least that would be the assumption. But I know what one professor is doing over the break, at least for a few days. He’s coming into his office, a 30 minute commute, to spend several hours helping a dunce (me) attempt to understand the finer points of writing programs. I didn’t ask for this special tutorial; he offered the time if I would be interested in some extra teaching.

Why? I don’t have anything to offer, other than interest and enthusiasm. I’m never going to give the school a million dollars (at least not under current circumstances), I’m not an influential person in any sense of the word, and, frankly, I’m not some rising academic star.

Perhaps he is imbued with a strong sense of purpose, and perhaps he senses that I want to learn, but am struggling. So, he does what he wants to do…………he teaches, whenever and wherever possible.

He is, for me, an existential example of his profession….a teacher, a professor, an educator.

Thank you.


1 Response to “Educators”

  1. 1 Thumbalina March 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Suck up. Maybe he is also avoiding at all costs lengthy “to do” lists created by his wife to be accomplished on his spring break. Just an idea….

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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