On Youth

little prince

A reminder for me to guard and cherish the child within. Yesterday was probably the first time I felt quite weird when someone told me that I looked like an undergrad. I guess the effect is different when a fellow faculty member actually says it than when a student does. Generally, society dictates that a teacher, let alone a professor, should look and act like a grown up. But there I was yesterday afternoon, laptop in my gray-pink backpack and a huge paper bag in my hand filled with printer filament, prototypes, a caliper, masking tape, etc., ready for an afternoon of making! I have also, more than once, shown extreme excitement in front of my students when we create something (e.g. when we jumped up and down our boat mold during demolding or when my former advisee showed me a prototype of a material he developed). I remember one of my fellow teachers telling me that she is always mindful of projecting an image of authority and credibility in front of her students, hiding her amazement in front of her class when she discovers something for the first time while teaching. I’m terrible at hiding! If I’m amazed, my students will know it. If I’m excited, my students will know it. If I don’t know something, my students will know it.

So I’m posting the image above as a reminder for all of us to respect our differences. We all project an image to those around us. Right now, I choose to keep mine as it is.


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