Being a Mentor

First:   this blog went over 59,000 page views a couple of days ago.   I am always amazed by the number of people who find this site.   My guess is that many of those readers discovered the site because someone else mentioned it to them.   As always -- thanks a million (and a half) to everyone for passing along the information to anyone who is interested in teaching and anyone who is interested in thinking about how to get better as a teacher.

I have made the point previously that I believe a college education would be more valued (rather than being under a full scale attack as it currently is) if more faculty members worked as mentors for the students rather than just teachers.   Several of my blog entries this summer have talked about going beyond the conveyance of information to a relationship where you help the students grow as people (my story about best books and attending the opera, for example).  

Consequently, here is an email that I sent out today to my 73 accounting students for the fall (yeah, accounting students -- not political science students).   To paraphrase the late great singer Ricky Nelson, if all I did was teach accounting concepts to college students, I'd just as soon drive a truck.  

To: Accounting 302 Students

From: JH

I had figured that I would not send out any more emails to you before class starts. I’m always concerned that I will overwhelm you before you even meet me. However, I was reminded of something this morning that I did think was worth mentioning (and I do realize that this will not apply to everyone in my classes).

My younger daughter (age 19) is getting ready to go off to college this fall for the first time. This morning she mailed in her application to get an absentee ballot so that she will be able to vote in the election this November. I was very proud of her for wanting to cast her first ballot (and for thinking ahead to get the absentee ballot before she left the area).

If you are eligible to vote in the upcoming election, I think you should strongly consider doing so. Freedom works best when people vote for their leaders.

I honestly don’t care which party you vote for or which candidate you support. However, I think every citizen should study the issues (not just listen to the opinions of others but actually study the issues) and vote for the person or party that you believe will serve the country best. I believe that is your duty as part of your transition from being a child to being an adult. I first voted in 1972 (I just missed being old enough to vote in 1968) and I’m proud to say that I have voted in every presidential election since that time. I’ve always had an opinion and I always wanted to vote to support my opinion.

I do not know how you get an absentee ballot in your state but I would bet that you can go to and find out very quickly. If you have not done this yet, I would urge you to get on the ball and get it done.

Look forward to seeing you in about 9 days.


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