Friday, October 28, 2011

Hooray for Grad Students

The single best thing about my job teaching philosophy at the University of Colorado - and I think all my colleagues would agree - is having grad students. Grad students are wonderful. They are amazingly smart, knowledgeable, motivated, funny, fascinating human beings. They are also extraordinarily generous and helpful to faculty.

Over the course of my twenty years at CU, I am indebted to graduate students for:

- teaching my son Gregory to ride a bike (Sara, of course)
- going with us to Lakeside Amusement Park so that I wouldn't have to be the one to ride the rollercoaster with my boys (Sara, of course)
- co-authoring a paper with me on environmental justice (thanks, Rob!)
- creating with me a summer philosophy camp for high school students (Sara AND Rob)
- driving my boys various places when I couldn't go
- providing catsitting employment for my boys over university breaks
- letting me have the privilege of reading some amazing dissertations
- serving as my research assistants on projects ranging from assembling a Rousseau bibliography to critiquing my book-in-progress on parenting ethics.
- serving as my TAs in class after class
- acting out the play No Exit with me in those classes
- and so much more!!

It's always heartbreaking when grad students "grow up" - get their Ph.D.s and go away to their grown-up tenure-track jobs. But then - and this is the point of my post today - they invite me to come places and give talks. Thanks to Sara, I've been invited to speak at the Philosophy Teaching and Learning Organization (PLATO) conference last summer in New York. Thanks to Jen and Rich, I was invited to speak at the Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at DePauw, which led to my being invited here for this magical visiting year.

And thanks to Theresa and Kevin, I'm heading to the airport momentarily to give a talk this afternoon at Marquette and spend the weekend playing with them in Milwaukee.

Oh, grad students, I owe you so much!

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