Think of Your Poor Teachers

A couple of months ago, I received some good news from a former university student of mine. This student had not only been accepted into a good Ph.D. program to get her doctorate degree, she had received a fellowship, which meant she didn’t have to pay any tuition (money paid to attend a school) and she also received a stipend (money given to students, usually for their living expenses) for one year.  As a teacher, it is nice to see former students succeed and do well in life.

Then, at about the same time, I read some shocking (very surprising, usually in a bad way) news.  A few years ago, I found out that  a former university student of mine had been elected (selected by voters) as mayor of a city in Southern California, a very high-level job for someone so young.  In fact, he was among the youngest mayors ever, and I was glad for his achievement.

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, I read that he had failed to report campaign contributions (how much money people and groups give to politicians) and expenditures (how money is spent). By law, politicians have to report to the government their campaign contributions and expenditures, and these disclosures (information reports) are made public to voters.  He had failed to do that.  Worse, he had lied about it, which means he was guilty of perjury, the crime of lying to the court.  Sadly, he had to submit his resignation (formal notice given when leaving a job) as city mayor, and even worse, he has been barred from (prevented from) holding elected office (job given by voters) for life.

Though we probably have little or nothing to do with the outcome of our students’ lives, we still feel good when they do well and feel bad when they don’t. So, if you must get into the news, please let it be for something commendable (worthy of praise) and not because you’ve been caught with your pants down (discovered doing something wrong).  Think of your poor teachers, who lead (live)  boring lives and who live vicariously (experiencing in one’s imagination the feelings or actions of another person) through you.

~ Lucy

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9 Responses to Think of Your Poor Teachers

  1. Talal says:

    well, thanks Dr.Lucy for one of your fabulous posts you submit, I would like to point out that I am a college student in Greece (by the way, American university ), and since we are your students (eslpod listeners and members) considerably. we promise that we wont disappoint you in the future. well, at least I do. but I think the teachers should have ambitions and long-term goals as the students do. what are my ambitions?? well, one of them is to meet Dr.jeff and Dr.lucy in person in starbucks or even English Cafe. well, I have to admit that I have scholarship fund and I have the following options : Oxford, Yale(personally I dont know this one) or Harvard. so I am requesting Dr.Jeff now. as long as you will be my professor. I will go to America , otherwise .I will head to London.
    I am kidding of course but I wish that is true. anyway . the reality is always bitter than imagination.

  2. Fernanda says:

    oh, thats an interesting post! i think i always gave to my teachers good news. but “that gifts” was first of all for me, for make me happy and, after studied so much, i deserve that! of course, our teachers from the firsts years in school to the last year in university are expecting big things and sucessful students. But we all know that be a sucessful life is hard and needs sometimes a long way, more than a few years!

  3. emiliano says:

    Well Talal, sometimes reality is even more incredible that imagination and I could assert this fact to you.
    No body knows what future is reserving for him or her despite the age of the person or the way of living. By the time I was retired It could be just like a dream to think how my life was going to be, the facts I´ll have to face along the following years and the people I was going to meet.
    Never could I have any clue about these so many changes.

    That´s the reason sometimes I talk about my other life quite different from the one I´m living now.

    Dr. Lucy Tse, I could promise you that I hope to be always a good pupil without disagreeable surprises for you and for Dr. Jeff McQuillan.
    It´s impossible for me to be elected as the Mayor of Madrid City, I´m too old to do a good job despite of being elected ….who knows? but it´s possible…whay not? that in future I may go to L.A. and say Hi, here it´s emiliano your friendly pupil from Spain, the one who is always writing and having an opinion about nearly everything, to all ESL Staff, and specially to you and Dr. Jeff McQuillian, my dear teachers.

    What I think, now seriously, is that there must be lots of persons been taugh by you and Dr. Jeff McQuillan who having enough english knowledge by your lessons it has been possible for them to obtain good jobs and a better possition in life and it´s sure you don´t know anything about these events because they don´t say anything to you.

    All of them can´t forget your teaching, that sure, but sometimes is just difficult to be in touch again and say you
    a big “Thank You”.

    If I get any of this marvellous jobs be sure that I´m travelling to L.A. to see my dear teachers Lucy and Jeff and have
    a strong hold hands, a huge or a kiss, who knows?.
    All the best for you Lucy.

  4. Ali says:

    Hi Dr. Lucy,

    I promis that many listeners of ESLPod will get the highest acadecic opportunities worldwide. The way you teach them give them the confidence of making effective communication with other partners around the world and this provide better opportunities for them. Be sure that all of us are thankful to you, to Dr. Jeff, and to all ESLPod teamfor providing us this unique way of learning english.
    May be some day we can get together in one of our countries and talk to each other face to face and express our gratitude personally. Actually, I propose this idea that all ESLPod listeners and ESLPod team get together in a place and stay with each other fore some days and enjoy talking to each other.
    Any way, hope you get only good news from us, and also we receive only good news from you.

    Life long,


  5. francesco says:

    Very funny story! Here in Italy it’ll never happen a thing like this: I mean even though when some politician is caught with his pants down, he’ll never be said to leave the office or resign…. never! They continue to do whatever they want, without caring about the public opinion! Crazy!

  6. Marco says:

    Very interesting! I´m studying hard with your help and I hope suceed as the first student mentioned in this post!
    It´s so sad when somebody´s life takes so depressing way!
    Best Regards

  7. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Dear Jeff and Lucy
    After reading the stories about former students, all I have to say is that I feel so sorry for those ones who didn’t get a good place in this world so competitive. Unfortunately, this is the world we live on, there are people with good luck and there are others whose fate don’t bring a happy life at all. Nevertheless, we have to pray for them and beg to God to help them in the future. For those who found the space they worked on to get, we have to give them our congratulations and pull them to a better life, regardless the rocks in the road.

  8. Julio says:

    There is a well-known spanish saying about the expected behaviour of people, which more or less could be translated into English in the following way: Would you like to know how Juanillo (little John) is, then give you a little appointment to him, meaning that people in general are going to prove their characteristics of behaviour (honesty, leadership,reliability and so on) in such potencially monitored circunstances.
    I believe the above saying is totally right because in my live I was able to see many things: shy and modest people becoming in a few years a very authoritarian person, or an authentical robber of public money.
    The bad thing is that several of them can become a very powerful person and then the problem is really difficult to solve, apart from the judicial power.
    Best regards from Spain,

  9. Bill Wang says:

    this is a very good topic, i am agree with Julio and Francesco,the same problem in china,very serious,everyone in the world know it,but the governor is still trying to cheat chinese people,in fact,they are cheating themselves.

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