Tuesday, October 27, 2009

University Professors

If you’ve done even a little bit of research on UVa, you are probably well aware of the special lingo we use here around grounds. There we have a unique term already! “Grounds” instead of “campus.” You have also probably heard about how we say “first year” instead of “freshman.” An additional lingo tradition stems out of respect for the founder of our University who did not have a Ph.D. – Mr. Jefferson. Here at The University, faculty are referred to as Mr. or Mrs. instead of Doctor, even if they have a Ph.D. While such a tradition may seem silly, I think it highlights the warm, humble personality of so many of our professors here at UVa.

The University is full of brilliant and accomplished professors who are still relatable and available to students. My very first semester at UVa, my Economics professor, Mr. Coppock, invited me to attend church with his family and hosted a dinner at his house for our entire class. This semester I am taking a course with English Professor Michael Levenson and find each lecture so stimulating that the fifty minutes of class literally fly by. Though a leading expert on modern literature and critical theory, as well as the author of many esteemed works, Mr. Levenson is so relatable and engaging that he can somehow connect Joeseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with last Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl. A few weeks ago, my Commerce professor, Jack Lindgren, invited our whole class over to his house for food and football. While watching the Patriots battle the Broncos, Professor Lindgren offered to give us golf lessons at Glenmore – the course on which his house sits.

As you can see, professors at The University do more than just teach students in class; University professors invite students to share in life together, and in doing so they develop the academical village into an academical family. Their willingness to allow students to refer to them as Mr. or Mrs. symbolizes their approachability and the fact that they care more about their students then they do about their title and own accomplishments. When you come visit our beautiful school, be sure to sit in on a class and experience the UVa faculty for yourself!

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