One short blurb, “Keep cool but care,” taken from Thomas Pynchon, really describes me best as a professional. Lax, yes. Careless, heavens no. I teach like a scherzo musical composition, switching modes, timing, cadence, in play. Heck, translated from Italian, it means “joke.” Too serious in the classroom, the joke will be on you. That is, as much infighting as goes on in academia over the education of students, one has to teach play, or else the education is short circuited from the start. Sophisticated play, one of the upright citizen, returns to curiosity, the hallmark of human knowledge. From there, the student will grow to be curious in old age; they will, according to studies, even live longer! People want to get better faster. I do too. But without the bedrock of curiosity, the pressure to learn will be unbearable, and the student will learn to lean on the habits of the less healthy persuasion. In the meanwhile, I will keep cool, but I will and, of course, continue to care.
Yours Truly, Nial C. DeMena