Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Humbling things

A collection of events, moments, and encounters from the past month or so that have been, in one way or another, humbling experiences:

* Meeting a senior faculty woman, whom I've admired from afar, who called me "a real role model".

* Overhearing students talk excitedly about one of next fall's classes....and realizing it's the class I'm teaching.

* Having a student show me his art work, out of the blue. (I'm no artist, but...wow. I was amazed.)

* Realizing that encouraging a woman to take a computer course in fact DOES pay big dividends in the end....and can sometimes quite literally change her life.

6 comments:

Mel said...

these are really lovely -- it's good to write them down and keep them somewhere to look at in the future when things seem bleak...

jo(e) said...

Great moments to remember ....

Alfred Thompson said...

Collect those moments someplace so you can read and remember them on the rough days. That was advice given to me which I wish I had followed. I remember some of the good things but not always enough.

Cheeky Prof said...

These all sound very inspiring. Good for you!

SFOJ (pseudonymously impaired) said...

Jane, that's fabulous!! Those are all wonderful. Oooh, more fodder for tea today! :-)

Anonymous said...

What exhilarating, gratifying, heartening, ego-affirming, even exalting experiences you have described! I'm sure they were all well-deserved -- but they are, with the possible exception of seeing your student's art (and knowing that such work is beyond your area of expertise) decidedly not humbling. Here's dictionary.com's definition of "humble" (as a transitive verb):

"1. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
2. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
3. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade"

So why the contemporary trend of using the word to mean its opposite? Is this usage supposed to indicate that the speaker is a person of such overwhelming native humility that praise only intensifies it, by calling attention to the disparity between others' high opinions and his/her own modest self-esteem? But clearly such a person would a) probably be really irritating because of his/her inability to accept a compliment and b) probably not quote other peoples' laudatory comments in a public forum.

I like your blog, Jane, and I'm not trying to ...um, humble you. It's just that one occasionally needs outlets for one's pedantry and snarkiness; that's why I'm

Bitch Grammarian