Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RIP Marina Keegan

The piece below was written by Marina Keegan '12 for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012's commencement exercises last week. Keegan died in a car accident on Saturday. She was 22.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.
It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.
Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.
This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clich├ęd “should haves...” “if I’d...” “wish I’d...”
Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.
But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.
For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.
We’re in this together, 2012. Let’s make something happen to this world.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Neil Gaiman: Keynote Address

134th Commencement
May 17, 2012
I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education.  I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I'd become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.
I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn't, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.
Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.
Looking back, I've had a remarkable ride. I'm not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children's book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who... and so on. I didn't have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.
So I thought I'd tell you everything I wish I'd known starting out, and a few things that, looking back on it, I suppose that I did know. And that I would also give you the best piece of advice I'd ever got, which I completely failed to follow.
First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.
This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.
If you don't know it's impossible it's easier to do. And because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.
Secondly, If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.
And that's much harder than it sounds and, sometimes in the end, so much easier than you might imagine. Because normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be. I wanted to write comics and novels and stories and films, so I became a journalist, because journalists are allowed to ask questions, and to simply go and find out how the world works, and besides, to do those things I needed to write and to write well, and I was being paid to learn how to write economically,  crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time.
Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes  it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you'll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.
Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.
And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time.
I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.
Thirdly, When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thickskinned, to learn that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.
The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong. My first book – a piece of journalism I had done for the money, and which had already bought me an electric typewriter  from the advance – should have been a bestseller. It should have paid me a lot of money. If the publisher hadn't gone into involuntary liquidation between the first print run selling out and the second printing, and before any royalties could be paid, it would have done.
And I shrugged, and I still had my electric typewriter and enough money to pay the rent for a couple of months, and I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn't get the money, then you didn't have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn't get the money, at least I'd have the work.
Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me. I don't know that it's an issue for anybody but me, but it's true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn't wind up getting the money, either.  The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I've never regretted the time I spent on any of them.
The problems of failure are hard.
The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.
The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It's Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.
In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don't know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn't consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don't have to make things up any more.
The problems of success. They're real, and with luck you'll experience them. The point where you stop saying yes to everything, because now the bottles you threw in the ocean are all coming back, and have to learn to say no.
I watched my peers, and my friends, and the ones who were older than me and watch how miserable some of them were: I'd listen to them telling me that they couldn't envisage a world where they did what they had always wanted to do any more, because now they had to earn a certain amount every month just to keep where they were. They couldn't go and do the things that mattered, and that they had really wanted to do; and that seemed as a big a tragedy as any problem of failure.
And after that, the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful. There was a day when I looked up and realised that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby.  I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more.
Fourthly, I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name...”
And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that's unique. You have the ability to make art.
And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that's been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.
Make it on the good days too.
And Fifthly, while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do.
The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that's not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right.
The things I've done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about, the stories where I was sure they would either work, or more likely be the kinds of embarrassing failures people would gather together and talk about  until the end of time. They always had that in common: looking back at them, people explain why they were inevitable successes. While I was doing them, I had no idea.
I still don't. And where would be the fun in making something you knew was going to work?
And sometimes the things I did really didn't work. There are stories of mine that have never been reprinted. Some of them never even left the house. But I learned as much from them as I did from the things that worked.
Sixthly. I will pass on some secret freelancer knowledge. Secret knowledge is always good. And it is useful for anyone who ever plans to create art for other people, to enter a freelance world of any kind. I learned it in comics, but it applies to other fields too. And it's this:
People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I'd worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I'd listed to get that first job, so that I hadn't actually lied, I'd just been chronologically challenged... You get work however you get work.
People keep working, in a freelance world, and more and more of today's world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you.
When I agreed to give this address, I started trying to think what the best advice I'd been given over the years was.
And it came from Stephen King twenty years ago, at the height of the success of Sandman. I was writing a comic that people loved and were taking seriously. King had liked Sandman and my novel with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, and he saw the madness, the long signing lines, all that, and his advice was this:
This is really great. You should enjoy it.
And I didn't. Best advice I got that I ignored.Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn't a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years that I wasn't writing something in my head, or wondering about it. And I didn't stop and look around and go, this is really fun. I wish I'd enjoyed it more. It's been an amazing ride. But there were parts of the ride I missed, because I was too worried about things going wrong, about what came next, to enjoy the bit I was on.
That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.
And here, on this platform, today, is one of those places. (I am enjoying myself immensely.)
To all today's graduates: I wish you luck. Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder you work, and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps.
We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.
Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are.
So make up your own rules.
Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.
So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.
And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's that time of year for speeches I really enjoy.

Highlights from some of the college commencement speeches around the country this month:
Dom Capers, Green Bay defensive coordinator, University of Mount Union (Ohio)
It's been 40 years since I was sitting out there, like you, wondering what was next in my life. ... Last weekend, we held the NFL Draft. Next weekend, we'll bring in our new draftees for orientation. Every year, countless hours and millions of dollars are spent on the process. With the technology we have today, there's a vast amount of information on every prospect. Yet, every year, 50 percent of the prospects in the first round of the draft fail. So, every year, as you go through this and observe this, you realize the biggest and strongest and fastest players are not always the most productive players in the NFL. You begin to realize the intangibles of the player are just as important as the talent.
What I'd like to share with you today is ... what I think are critical to success in any profession. Number one, and maybe the most important: Find something you love. Passion creates fuel. It creates the burning desire to do what we love 'til we go to bed at night. A passionate person with a little bit of talent will almost always outperform a passive person with great talent. The second thing is the law of compensation. The more you give, the more you get in return. It's a simple principle, but it's amazing how many people never figure it out ...
The next thing is what influences success more than anything else. The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who fail lies in the difference of their habits. In the NFL, adversity is as common as the air you breathe. Have the courage when things get tough to stick with your plan.
I'd like to discuss surviving success. In my mind, this is the toughest thing anyone has to deal with. We all know we have to pay a high price, no matter what the process is, to be successful. One of my favorite quotes is this: 'For every 10 people who can handle adversity, there is only one who can handle success.' The downside of success is like a virus. It is insidious. It's the master of the sneak attack. No matter where you are in your career, the worst thing is to feel like you have arrived. There's someone out there willing to do the little things, ready to take your job.
In a few moments, you will officially become the University of Mount Union graduating class of 2012. You certainly have the smarts. You certainly have the heart. Now, it's up to you to decide how you want to use your talent. You're the captain of your own ship.
***
Martin Sheen, actor, New England Institute of Technology
While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive. I came through the sixties clinging to the absolute certainty that lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for, and that nonviolence is the only weapon to fight with ... No one has ever made a contribution of any real worth without self-sacrifice, personal suffering and sometimes even death.
***
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post writer, Allegheny College
The great generations harness the good work done one-on-one, in local communities, to larger movements for change in our nation and in our world. They remember what the philosopher Michael Sandel has taught us, that, "When politics goes well, we can know a good in common that we cannot know alone." Your generation has a chance to get us beyond the wreckage of the old culture wars and to sweep aside the debris of prejudice on the grounds of race, gender and sexual preference. Your generation has the opportunity to restore faith in public life and in public action.
Never lose your desire to transform charity into justice, division into civility, selfishness into generosity, cynicism into hope.
***
Savannah Guthrie, "Today" show co-host and legal analyst, Hobart and William Smith College
The best advice I got was from one of my old professors at the University of Arizona. After I hemmed and hawed in his office for a while, he looked at me and said, "Savannah, think big."
Deep, right?
Actually, it was. The problem with all of us sometimes is we convince ourselves of all the reasons we can't do something before we even try. We think small, so that we might succeed at that small dream we set out for ourselves in order to avoid failure. Think of what you might accomplish if you directed all that compelling, forceful energy toward convincing yourself why you can do it. In a nutshell, thinking big means conjuring up a vision for yourself. It means taking time, being reflective, and daring to visualize what it would look like if you could wave a magic wand and be exactly where you wanted to be in five years, even if it seems a little unrealistic at the moment. Look, we live in the real world. I'm not suggesting you ... dream big dreams and refuse any situation or opportunity in the meantime that doesn't live up to that perfect ideal. What I am saying is: Think big for yourself. Dream big. But then, be ready to start small.
In fact, that is exactly how it works. You start small, and you work at the small thing like it is the big thing. That's how you get the big thing.
***
Stuart Krieger, Hollywood screenwriter, State University of New York-Brockport
Learn to recognize opportunities when they come at you. In 2001, I was offered the chance to teach a class at the Peter Stark MFA Producing Program at USC. I loved working with the students, got a lot of positive feedback and found incredible joy in the experience at a time when my writing career was slowing down. Jobs were getting harder to come by. I was no longer the new kid in town. I wasn't the "flavor of the month." By 2005, I was exhausted. Show business was an endless grind. The thought of battling for jobs for another decade was really depressing.
Something had to change. So it did. One night, after my USC class, my wife said to me "You know, you're really happy when you're teaching. Maybe you should be doing more of that."
I took her words to heart, met with a friend who had turned from producing to teaching and got directed to a job site for aspiring professors. There I found a posting for a tenure-track position in Writing for the Creative Arts at the University of California, Riverside. I decided that was going to be my next job. After an excruciating five-month process, I was hired in May of 2006. I'm now a full tenured professor and, as of April 1, I'm the chairman of the Department of Theatre, Film & Television. And I'm the happiest I think I've ever been.
Why? Because I wasn't afraid to make a change when it was clearly time to shake things up.
Is this the path I ever thought I'd end up on? Nope. Was it part of my original plan? Not even a little bit. But that train went moving by me and I decided to hop on.
***
Ted Koppel, newsman, University of Massachusetts
More than ever before, we live today in a world of instant reaction, constant judgment and corrosive partisanship. Political debate is a wonderful thing; but partisan shrieking is corrosive and destructive. If we are to find solutions to the challenges we face, we have to relearn the virtues of compromise. If we are going to deal intelligently with the problems we confront, we need time to pause, to consider and reflect. But our media, news and social, are intolerant of anything but an instant response ... Rather than using information to illuminate the world, though, we consume it like fuel. The more we burn, the faster we go. The faster we go, the less we see and understand. We slow down only for the accidents along the side of the road; and the biggest accident still lies ahead.
Only, I fear, when that occurs -- only when the combined impact of too many unemployed, too many foreclosures, too much debt, exacerbated by two undeclared and unfunded wars; only when the human and social costs of a crumbling education system and a flawed health care system, leave us wondering where and why we lost our footing as a nation, will we come to realize that WHAT is communicated to us is vastly more important than the medium by which it is conveyed.
... One day, most Americans will point at us in the news media and say: "Why didn't you tell us? Why did you encourage all that bile and venom? Why did you feed us all that trivial crap, when so many terrible things were converging? And no one will be happy with the answer. Least of all, those of us who offer it. "What we gave you," we will say, "is what you wanted."
At this critical juncture in your lives, then, let me urge you -- no, let me implore you to want more. More substance, more real information about important issues, more fairness, more objectivity, more tolerance for views that differ from your own. You have a truly magical array of media at your disposal. Use them well.
***
Hank Aaron, Hall of Fame baseball player, Marquette University
I passed by your campus many times, walking to County Stadium in 1954, my rookie year with the Milwaukee Braves. I had no car.
Overcoming struggles is a part of life. You have to grow up, and to have a little adversity never hurt anybody. In good times and bad times, you will be expected to make the most of the educational opportunity you have been given. I challenge you to hold fast to your dreams.
The spring season of the year is the perfect time for the rebirth of dreams. Like nature itself, spring gives us new hope and a new beginning. In baseball, spring training represents a new season of hope and anticipation of a new opportunity to win a championship. Likewise, spring commencements provide new opportunities for you to continue to climb the ladder of success. Your years of hard work and study here at Marquette are cause for celebration.
The ultimate goal of our lives is to develop our full potential and realize our dreams. For most of us the realization of our dream requires a strong unyielding commitment, hard work and determination. The 1921 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Anatole France, put it this way: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
***
And finally, I got a student's graduation speech from Boston University. I really liked part of it, the part this student, who is going to be a teacher, addressed to those who taught him (well, I might add) that there will be more to his life than grading papers.
Christopher "Douglas'' Bruno, School of Education, Boston University
A few months ago, I had an interview with a consulting firm for international education, an institute that places international students, mostly from China and India, in American high schools. I knew the company was looking for more of a businessman than an educator, so in preparing for the interview, I figured that I would focus on my expertise of the American education system and knowledge of unique types of schools -- charter, pilot, magnet, etc. -- in order to show how I could be of service to the company.
The first question of the interview was just what I planned for: How could you help the company despite no business background? I discussed my experience tutoring at Boston Arts Academy, a pilot school focused both on rigorous academics as well as different art forms such as acting, dancing, singing and theater. As an employee of the firm, I argued, I wouldn't just be placing these students aimlessly; I could, instead, work with the students' interests and better find a charter, pilot, or independent school whose mission connected with the student, giving them a wonderful opportunity to showcase their individual strengths. So many students at Boston Arts Academy loved going to school because it didn't just focus on academics; it allowed them to pursue their artistic ambitions for half of the day as well. My knowledge of these different types of schools could provide that same individualized, positive connection for dozens of international students, right?
I thought I nailed the answer. The interviewer? Not so much.
"This is a business," he said. "This is a for-profit organization. There is a bottom line. To be frank, we're here to make money. We are businessmen, not counselors.''
Awesome.
Needless to say, I didn't get the job. Reflection led me to recall a quote from the late professor Dan Davis. In our last Social Studies Methods class our junior year, his parting words were: "I know you will all do great in this profession because you all have soul. If you didn't have soul, you'd be accountants."
The faculty has a collective understanding that educators need to have this "soul" to foster a productive classroom environment. Teaching, as we have been taught, is much more about relationships with your students and passionately developing them into active citizens than memorization, equations, names, dates, and most of all making money and "the bottom line." I will leave you in the words of my supervisor for my practicum, faculty member Gerry Murphy: "Some days it will feel like the best profession in the world. Some days you would rather be selling lampshades, but think about it. It's the only profession in the world that influences every single other profession."