30 October 2009

Feel Good

Earlier today I had a conversation with a former student. And that was just a feel good moment.

See, this former student of mine took my 100-level class two years ago. It was a class that basically introduced the different languages that are found around the world, and how they are similar and different when it comes to structure. Basically, this was a class that a trivia person would dig.

So, I bumped into this former student of mine, and he told me that he is now a minor in Linguistics, and that it was after taking my class that he got interested in the whole field and decided to do a minor in it. Wow. I didn't realize that I can have an effect in other people too.

See, the thing is, I have taught this class for about three times now. He happened to have been a student when I taught it for the third time. I have this idea that I basically turned away a lot of people when I taught it the very first time. I looked back and saw my syllabus for that class, and I was so over the top. I required tons of stuff, considering this was a 100-level class. So when I got to teach it again, I revised a lot of stuff, and so when I taught it the third time, I myself enjoyed it.

So there, I saw people who were majors in Linguistics when I taught the class the very first time, but ceased to be a major, perhaps due to me, but now I learned that I am also capable of the other way, of inspiring people to take up a field simply because they found my class interesting.

I felt good.

(Fertile Woman, from my Sackler and Freer Collection Series)


  1. You must be a good teacher for inspiring a student to take Linguistics as his minor subject. Well, I can somehow sense it from your posts that convey your passion for Linguistics and the academe in general. Keep it up!

  2. That means you're getting to be a good teacher. Nothing rewards a teacher more than knowing that his student is inspired.

  3. Abaniko and Toe,

    I guess so. I never saw myself as a good teacher, but I guess incidents like these make me realize that I can and do touch other people's lives in interesting ways.

  4. That is really cool! The good side of teaching: sharing a contagious passion!

    You must have been a good prof.

  5. Zhu,

    Thanks! I always try to be a good teacher. I suppose this means I succeeded.