Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pay It Forward

I recently read an article in the newspaper about a restaurant owner who is putting on a fund raiser to help a woman who has been diagnosed with cancer. The woman needed to move away from the area for treatment and that meant being away from her four-year-old and six-year old children. The restaurant owner is sponsoring a raffle to help raise money for spinal cancer research, as well as help be able to send her children to spend time with her. Check out the website at www.HarmonysHope.org .

As it turns out, this women was at this restaurant fairly frequently and was always looking to find a way to help other people in need and see if she could get local businesses to contribute to the cause. According to the article, the owner saw her come in and noticed she was not her usual self, so he asked her what was wrong. He decided to help out.

As I was reading this, I immediately thought of the movie and book, Pay It Forward. The idea that when you do something nice for someone else, instead of looking to pay that person back, you pass it on, pay it forward. Here was a woman who was always doing something nice for others and not expecting something in return. In return, however, it was not one of the people she helped that helped her, but someone else.

As an instructor, I can only hope to touch someone’s life a fraction of the way this woman did. Still, I hope that by putting my energies into teaching, I help, in some small part, to make better human beings. Citizens who someday will not turn around and do something to repay me for helping them but something to help others in need, something to make the world a better place.

I realize it sounds too altruistic, a bit utopian, and many even arrogant or self serving, but I think many of us who get into the profession truly have this hope. I hope it is a desire that never leaves my body.