The New Yorker, “The Big Uneasy”

Copeland has taught at Oberlin since the nineteen-seventies. He was puzzled by many things about today’s students—“They do not make eye contact! They do not look into your motherfucking eyes!”—but what galled him most was their apparent eagerness to go over their professors’ heads.

From this few-months-old article about the current college culture wars. I loved this quote because it evoked all my favorite professors and teachers from throughout my education.

Meanwhile, I may feel like I have a lot of trouble functioning, but at least I’ve got this skill down pat. I love eye contact. Like smiling during conversation, it’s such an easy way to trick people into thinking you care.

My husband was in the original run of ‘Hair,’ before it moved uptown, and they used to have these wild cast parties. One night, I must have ingested something, to this day I have no idea what… I engaged an actor in a conversation: it was the most intense conversation I’ve ever had, felt like it lasted about half an hour. When I came back to my senses awhile later, my husband asked me how long I thought my conversation had been. I told him ‘oh, a half an hour…’ He told me I was talking for two days, and we were talking in a language unlike anything else on Earth. Complete gibberish. Now, whenever I see that actor, we both know what we said was lucid. We solved the problems of the universe but we can’t explain it to anyone else!

My professor.