My best professor in graduate school at the University of Georgia was an alcoholic. He rarely showed up for class; office hours became a joke.
But when he did turn up, disheveled and bleary eyed, it was ‘game on’ for me and my fellow doctoral candidates.
We were going to get another blistering. He would raise his voice and degrade us. We’d cower. He’d tell us again and again how we were breaking his heart with our respectful, compliant lives.
We couldn’t wait.
Other profs in the department of Counseling and Human Behavior offered rigorous coursework in counseling methods and techniques, challenging practicums and thesis advisement.
This guy cared less about all that. His concern was about us living our unimaginative, tedious lives. It irked him to no end.
“How in the hell can you help others live their best lives
when you’re miserably failing at your own?”
“Don’t tell me you’re living a great life or even trying. . . because you are not.
In fact, you are the most boring, pathetic group of students I’ve seen in a long time.”
We loved him. Partly because no one else in the department seemed to care how we were crafting our lives. But most of all, because his plea to “give life more” was so easily overlooked in our busy, well-constructed, high-achieving lives. (more…)