Though I may occasionally sound the embittered recent graduate, I'm reasonably positive about my college experience. There were things about it I didn't care for, of course. Mostly, I felt there was too much emphasis put on filling out seemingly endless gen-ed requirements, rather than focusing on areas of interest. But by in large, I feel like I learned things. And that's mostly the point.
Still, there are those teachers who strive to reach those mired in a me-esque apathy. They may do so using any number of techniques, but I doubt that any work as well as buying your students coffee, as no fewer than three teachers did today.
Sure, it's probably a tax write-off. And no, it's not any great expense. But the gesture is appreciated. So too is the caffeine; at least by those who consume it. A fair few opted for hot chocolates instead, which, given the freshmanish look to the students, wasn't a surprise.
But there was an exception to this rule. One teacher ordered for her class, rather than letting them choose. 12 shots of espresso - one for each student - were requested. As I worked, enjoying the rhythm of pulling shots, she told them a little about the drink they were about to receive, how they might modify it, and how they should consume it. I don't know what class this was, but Espresso 101 seemed an appropriate name at that time.
Of course, the reactions were equally instructive. Most recoiled a bit, marveled at how strong this little ounce of liquid was, and exclaimed something unintelligible. But whether they like the taste or not, all seemed to enjoy the experience. It was, at the very least, something new - Dare I say, a learning experience?
In any case, kids, welcome to academia. I'm sure I'll be seeing you all again.