Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Befuddled than Usual

A student contacted me to make an appointment the other day. Nothing unusual there. But, this student wants to talk to me about a paper he's writing for another class, a lower level, introductory class. And the paper is on one of Donne's poems.

I'm not quite sure what's up. The student said he'd asked his prof if he could talk to me about the paper and gotten an okay. But why didn't he just talk to his prof about the paper? Or more to the point, why didn't the prof talk to him about the paper when the issue came up?

The prof teaching this class does contemporary stuff, but decided to teach Donne in there. So the text is a bit of a reach for the prof. I do the same thing when I teach contemporary short stories in my intro class. We all do for those classes that are supposed to introduce a really broad area, I think. Often, we'll wander over to a colleague's office to consult and share ideas, and it's really fun and helpful.

But I'm a bit befuddled that a student wants to talk to me about an assignment for another prof's class. It's not like this is an interview assignment; this seems to be more of an explication type assignment.

It just seems weird to me that the prof would send the student to me? Or that the student would decide out of the blue that he needs to talk to me without that prompting? (It's not a student I know from another class or anything.)

I'm not one of those charismatic people folks just want to talk to, either.

I suppose I'll get a bit more of a sense on Monday, eh?


  1. I wouldn't take it so hard, actually it may be a compliment.

    Many years ago I was taking a general course and something specialized came up. When I consulted the professor, he smiled and said: "You really ought to talk to Ralph about this." So paid a visit to Ralph. He smiled and asked who had sent me. I told him and then he smiled again and began to explain things to me.

    A few years later, I came across a book by Ralph on the subject of interest. Turns out he WAS one of the world's experts.

    Cheer up. Ciao. Bonzo

  2. Ohhhhh I would love to talk to somebody about Donne. How glorious.

  3. Mr. B, I don't think I was taking it "hard" so much as recognizing that it was an extra half hour to hour of working with a student I'm not really responsible for in a very busy week, added to the difficulty of not knowing what assignment the student's working on.

    Chaser, You can talk to me about Donne any day of the week!