Showing posts from June, 2012

What Is the Best Book You Ever Read?

If you have read this blog for very long, you know that I often argue that college teachers have become obsessed with teaching stuff and less interested in developing the student as a whole person. Should we care if a student becomes a brilliant scholar but then leads a miserable life because he or she simply doesn’t know how to live? Well, I think so. I could give several examples of what I do in my classes beyond teaching stuff but here is one of my favorites. My primary course is Intermediate Accounting II which covers some of the most complex material at any university. For nearly 20 years, about half way through the semester, I give my students a required assignment. I ask them to consider all the books they have ever read in their entire lives and pick the “best book you’ve ever read.” Then, they have to write a paragraph or two to describe why they picked that book. Over the years, I have had some of the most fascinating essays submitted. Obviously, I want the students to think

Lazy? Or What?

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to 70 teachers or so at the Kentucky Accounting Educators’ Forum. At one point in that presentation, I made a comment that working with students who can often be incredibly lazy is a real challenge for every teacher. My guess is that every teacher has mumbled similar words over the years. Later that day, Randy Hahm who is on the faculty at Kentucky State drove me to the airport. On the way, Randy told me about one of his favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar, the world famous motivational speaker: “There’s no such thing as a lazy person; he’s either sick or uninspired.” I don’t remember much else about that day but those few words have stuck with me since that car trip. My students rarely appear sick. So, whenever I’m dissatisfied with their efforts, is it laziness or is lack of inspiration? Lazy or uninspired? On the surface, you might ask what difference does that distinction make? I think it makes an important difference as you think abou

Mentor - Redux

I am always a bit amazed by how many readers we have on this blog. I never expected to get to 1,000 and we have now had (as of 8 minutes ago) 54,309 page views. Many readers are accounting profs but a lot teach all kinds of other things. I am busy so I rarely pay attention to which blog entries get a lot of readership and which get less. However, because of an unrelated project, I had to go back a few days ago and look at all the entries to date and noted the number of hits for each. Most got hundreds, some got thousands. However, the following entry (from May 30, 2010) only had 14 hits. 14??? Heck, some of these entries get 14 hits in the first two minutes. I’m not sure why no one read this entry because (even rereading it today) I think it raises a valid question as to what you actually want to be as a college prof. I especially liked the comment about the baseball team needing different types of players. Are you in an environment where different talents and roles are recognized? So,

Cat Abuse and Technology - Be Still, My Heart

A Dutch artist named Bart Hansen recently decided to memorialize his dead cat (Orville) in an unusual way - by turning it into a remote-controlled helicopter . Jansen said that Oville always loved birds, and now he can fly with them. Unfortunately, he forgot the laser beams.  Amateur!