To Shiny No. 2
A student just sent me an email asking why he failed my course. He also said he felt lost in life, and asked me to reply him as soon as possible. As a teacher, I don't feel any satisfaction failing students. That said, for most students who fail a course, retaking the course when they're not up to par with the required standards is more often than not a good thing. They should be able to learn a bit more going at it one more time.
There is a fat girl (weighs about 160 lbs--more than my weight) who had failed four semesters in a row in my English class. Then one summer, she asked me to tutor her. Since then, I could see her marked improvement. She is the one who has given me the idea of having tutorial sessions for lesser students. I quite enjoy my tutorial sessions. I actually have learned new things in the sessions from students who ask questions – tough questions sometimes. 教學相長 is a most accurate reflection of my teaching experience.
Going back to the student who wrote me and said he felt lost in life. I wrote him back right away, telling him that it's natural for some people who feel lost sometimes, particularly when they're growing up. For them, this is part of a growing process. I said I felt lost myself when I was in college, too. What I didn't tell him was that my loss process was a long, long one. It lasted decades. After I've taught for a while, I've discovered that actually many young people feel no loss at all. I often ask students to write an autobiography in the first class of my courses. So I've got a chance to read the minds of hundreds of young people. To my surprise, more than half of them feel quite content and satisfied about life in general. Many have happy families, with caring parents and loving brothers and sisters. You're one of them, Shiny.
I planned to talk to you about a little known branch of economics tonight – Anthropometric Economics. It's the economics of the human biology. Well, we'll have to leave it for the next time then.