First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story

First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story

Wrong Way

Fourteen years ago I walked into MLK hall on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO ready to start my journey as an education major. I studied my schedule and made my way up two flights of stairs to my first classroom. It was Humanities 101. I wasn’t sure what a humanities course would be about, but I knew I was eager to get started.

The instructor was a wiry, animated man, who admitted to being technologically challenged, so his syllabus would be ready at our next meeting. (“The stupid copier wouldn’t give up his papers.”) His movements were jerky and delibrate and his build gave him the aura of a scarecrow. But clearly this man had a brain and was a talented storyteller. The story he told about names in the local telephone book and where they came from was intriguing. He shared the historical roots of names and explained how they were related to those of famous American writers. It was a really cool start to my semester but I could not figure out how this would tie into my humanities course, so I sat tight.

As the discussion got deeper, the clever man upfront began talking about the expectations of an advanced level literature course and a sinking feeling of “wrong place at the wrong time” grew in the pit of my stomach. Soon he asked everyone in the course to share what they hoped to get out of the class and what their plans were beyond graduation. I officially knew I was in the wrong class. Continue reading “First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story”