I hate the metaphor of “spreading one’s seed” as an academic. I think it’s gross, not only because of the whole “seed” business but also because it makes it seem like one’s students accomplishments are one’s own, and really, they aren’t. But when my students and former students accomplish amazing things, I also feel unbelievably happy and proud to have taught them – not because I think that I am in any way “responsible” for their accomplishments or that I deserve credit, but rather because I feel so grateful that I attract the sort of students who go on to do awesome things. (In case you were wondering, from what I’ve seen, not all professors get to experience that particular joy.)
So what are my awesome students (former and current) up to?
- Tattooed Student just got admitted to a very competitive MA program with full funding.
- Rocking Student (who I actually saw at The Breeders show!) just got a promotion at work (she’s working in a staff position at a university).
- BES got a named award that came with travel money for a paper that she presented at a conference in her dissertation field, plus she won an essay award from an allied organization of the MLA.
- Law Student #1 is finishing up law school, got married, and was accepted for publication in Law Review in his second year and I believe is doing Law Review in his third year.
- Law Student #2 is actually a current student, who was painfully shy when I first taught him a year and a half ago and has now come into his own and has been accepted with full funding to law school for next year.
- CC Transfer has been accepted into a great MA program in Chicago to study poetry.
- Hippie-ish Student from a while back went to that same MA program in Chicago, and is now getting his PhD at State Flagship.
- Michael Fitzsimmons (do you get this reference?) is studying abroad in Barcelona with lots of scholarships to support him….
- Mr. Frankenstein, who was accepted to and did his time in Teach for America in inner-city Midwestern City, is now, after teaching middle school for three years, working in that city’s education office, doing awesome shit.
And I’m sure I’m forgetting some people! Again, their accomplishments are not my accomplishments. But I do feel such gratitude that I know them and that I had any small part in getting them where they wanted to go! And I feel such gratitude that I am a teacher who has the privilege to teach students with such wide-ranging abilities and ambitions. And I feel such gratitude that I am a teacher who has students who want to keep in touch with her and tell her about their accomplishments! I am a lucky, lucky professor. And my students and former students are ridiculously cool.