Poem Essay

532 WordsMay 20, 20143 Pages
Someone Is Always Watching You A few years ago, a commencement speaker at the Baltimore City Community College graduation was Congressman Elijah Cummings. He is a spellbinding speaker, and he gave a terrific speech. One of his points was, “Someone is always watching you.” No, he did not mean that someone is always watching you in the sense that Big Brother is spying on you for nefarious purposes! What he meant by this was that day-by-day, and week-by-week, the people around us notice what we do and say and they, in turn, learn something from that. This is an extremely powerful phenomenon to which we generally pay little attention. Allow me to give you two personal examples. Not long ago, I had lunch with a college roommate, whom I had not seen in the 20+ years since we graduated from Northwestern University. In our conversation, she mentioned how we often talked about our professors when we took freshman Calculus. While I do not remember telling her about this way back in the 1990’s, she says that I told her that my instructor always concluded each class by saying, “Thank you!” Apparently, this humble gesture by my instructor was so impressive, that she subsequently followed the same practice in every class that she has taught. My friend has been a math professor at the University of Louisville for many years, and she recently received the Distinguished Teaching Award at the university. My professor at NU probably did not know that I was watching. My friend was watching, too. I can’t say that it has changed the course of Western civilization, but behavior was changed from this watching. Lives have been changed for the better. Many years later, we’re still talking about it. Another example happened when I was facilitating classes for University of Phoenix on ground campus in Cleveland, OH. I was conducting a question-and-answer session after a

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