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The New Old

As a new semester arrives like an oncoming bullet freight train, I am praying for great patience. One of the things I have to remind myself continually is no matter how old the mistakes and the immaturity may be, it is a new crop of students and so I can’t get frustrated with them because this is the thousandth time I’ve had to deal with this. I hope by reminding myself of this already, I will achieve a new level of patience, so that even if it is the tenth time for a particular student, I can respond (rather than react) to them with the serenity and mentoring attitude I had the first time I ever heard their issue from a different mouth as a TA 18 years ago.

I am also trying to remind myself to watch for the good students, to let the problem students fade into the background rather than dominating my attention, coloring my perception of the class as a whole.

The squeaky wheel may and should get the grease, but the others deserve attention also, and praise. There is a forest of students out there, and only a few thornbushes. I need to enjoy the forest even as I prune the thorns.

My attitude makes the difference, for all.


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