Carla M. Lee (carlamlee) wrote,
Carla M. Lee

[listening] Gretchen Rubin's A Little Happier -- Forgetting Teachers and What They Taught

Sometimes I'll listen to a handful of episodes of Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft's podcast, Happier, and now Rubin is doing mini-podcasts along with it (hence A Little Happier). I listened to the first mini-episode earlier and in it, Rubin talks about the claim that within ten years of leaving school, you'll have forgotten your teachers' names and all the things they taught. She goes on to describe two sharp memories she has of her undergrad experience and teachers who were particularly enthusiastic about what they were teaching, but I was too busy being surprised by the claim she cited.

Do most people really forget their teachers names and what they've taught within a decade of finishing? Really?

I'm more than 15 years out of high school, 10 out of undergrad, and 5 out of law school, and while I can't tell you every single teacher I had or every single thing I learned, I definitely remember most of my professors and a lot of the things they taught me. Obviously, the ones who meant a lot to me are the ones I remember best (my adoration for Dr Susan Swartwout at Southeast Missouri State University will burn forever because she was an amazing teacher, a wonderful mentor, and continues to touch her former students to this day), but I remember the ones who weren't great, too, or the ones with whom I just didn't click. I remember pieces of things they taught me; I use the things they taught me, some of it pretty much daily, whether it was from high school or college or law school. There are many things I don't remember about life, but I can't imagine it being standard to forget what you were taught, your teachers' names, within ten years or less of leaving the school.

This sense of shock is the same I felt when my law school classmates, as we approached graduation, were so joyous that they were done with school and would never go back. I did not feel that way then, and I do not feel that way now. I haven't yet gone back to school, but odds are high it will happen. I can guarantee I'll take more classes, even if I don't get another degree. (... hell, pottery could probably count as an actual class I'm taking, considering how many of my undergrad classes were writing-based or design-based.)

Do you remember your teachers? Do you remember the things you were taught?

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Tags: links, podcasts, school

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