It's Hard To Remember All Your Students

I won’t feel so bad in the future when I can’t remember one of my eighteen hundred or so former students comes up to me and I can’t remember his or her name (though I always remember the face):

Dr. Thomas Freeman remembers that moment more than four decades ago in Atlanta when he pointed out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to his Texas Southern University, or TSU, debate team students:

Flanked by bodyguards, as he often was during the civil rights movement, King was dining at the same restaurant as Freeman and his wide-eyed young charges. But when King caught sight of Freeman, he surprised the Houston contingent by coming to the table, offering Freeman a handshake and showering praise on a religion course he had taught in 1947 as a Morehouse College visiting professor.

“If not for that encounter, I might never have realized Martin was in my class in 1947,” Freeman says with a chuckle. “Imagine how taken aback I was.”

A TSU professor of philosophy since 1949 and an educator for 66 years, Freeman has taught and influenced generation after generation of college students.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Corvus illustris

    But think of how good you’ll feel when one of the 1,800 comes up to you and you *do* remember the name! Happened to me once with a guy who had been an (undergraduate) student fifteen years before. Purely random event, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. Heh heh.


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