Socrates said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
I ask that you teach me hard before I leave this place. I am here to learn. Be patient with me, but be tough. Teach with compassion. Let your words stick in my mind. Please correct my mistakes, and tell me when I am wrong. Point out my weaknesses. How else would I move on if I do not fix my mistakes? I am here to educate myself. Help me do this, please.
I am here to understand and to be understood. Please do not feel sorry if I have a busy schedule – it is my choice. Teach me. Teach me how to manage my time, how to be responsible, how to be professional. I am an adult, and I choose to be taught. Prepare me for real life, and please, teach me hard. I am eager to learn.
I get the feeling that my generation is full of cry babies. We do not want to learn and would rather complain. If we want to, we seek opportunities; if we do not want to, we seek excuses. So, we seek excuses.
We are privileged to attend a university. We are privileged to pursue a higher education degree. Yet we complain. Poor us, indeed. Such a pity — we are forced to receive a bachelor’s degree — something that only 37% of Americans have obtained. How dare we underestimate such a gift?
“Where there is a will, there is a way,” Pauline Kael, writer for the New York Times, said.
Dear professors, it is not your responsibility to make me a better person if I do not put forth any effort. If I do not want to move forward, you will not be able fix it. Only I can. Please do not waste your time sharing your wisdom with someone who is not willing to listen.
Talk to me about diligence and success, but do not exclude what it takes to be successful. Work through my failures, cheer me up, but do not pretend they never happened. Work with me, but do not waste your time with my reluctance if you see I am unwilling to absorb your knowledge.
Sometimes I am tired. Sometimes I choose to get a lower grade in biology and spend more time studying for French. But it is my choice. I am an adult, and I am responsible for the way I manage my priorities.
Do not say “it is OK” to me when it is not OK. I should know the cost of failure just as I should know the price of triumph. Show me both sides of possibility. Let me experience the taste of leading and of falling behind. I am here to gain experience.
Dear professors, you are doing so much for us, but often you do too much. I know you want to be kind and compassionate. But do not embrace our laziness. Excuse my lack of knowledge, but never excuse my ignorance, as ignorance is an unwillingness to learn. Be kind, but be tough. This is the only way to prepare me for the reality of an adult life.
Embolden me, but do not enable my unwillingness. I am spoiled, and I beg you, do not let it continue to grow in me.
Commend my wit in class if it is relevant to the lesson, but do not tolerate my sassiness if I speak with a pretense about my grade.
I am better because of you, dear professors. You do God’s work. You put your souls into us, our spoiled generation. I admire your patience. The knowledge I am so privileged to receive is due only to your investment. I am so much better because of you.
I am spoiled, but I am here to learn. Please teach me hard before I go.