University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA)

 - Class of 1909

Page 23 of 178

 

University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 23 of 178
Page 23 of 178



University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 22
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Page 23 text:

retrogressing to the stage of the simian anthropoid? I repeat, have you seen this man, the man who never received a satisfactory answer in quiz, who never demeaned himself to praise a diligent student or lend a helping hand to a backward one? I-low many men are there today, registered in the great book of life as failures, who would have been useful men in their profession had it not been for the hopeless discour- agement dealt out to them by professors of this "crabbing," overbearing variety? Truly can they cry out from their positions by the wayside, where they have fallen aside, and say that their ambition was destroyed by him who should have cherished it most. These types, purposely a little overdrawn, show some of the chief causes of failure on the part of the professor to "make good" his relationship with the student. On the part of the student, the reasons for failure to fulfill his part of the contract are unlimited. Many men cannot be taught, having been born Minerva- like, with all the wisdom of the ages carefully stored away in the convolutions of their cerebri, usually remaining there, refusing to come out under any and all circumstances. This type of student is familiar to all of us. Another type, equally self-important, is the chap who, although his head contains almost nothing, is continually producing something there- from in the shape of semi-lurid ideas, and fondly parading them for the edification of an unenlightened world. This is the young man who spends half the night studying up catch questions to ask his pro- fessor the following morning. He is usually an encyclopedia of misinformation, a thorn in the side of his teacher, a waste of time in his class hours, and a source of delight to the more easily amused of his classmates. Many other things go to make up the whole in this lack of eo-operation which may exist between pro- fessor and student, teacher and taught. It is admit- 26

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most pompous clearing of the throat and accentuated now and then by sonorous "haws" and "ahems," most comforting to the self-esteem of the speaker. This type is, perhaps fortunately, becoming a rara avis, it having been generally noted in the keen struggle ofthe survival of the fittest that the hypertrophied dignity was more than counterbalanced by an atrophied teaching ability. Another common cause of incompatibility, and one that is absolutely inimical to the maintenance of a proper relationship between teacher and taught, and to the development of the mind of the student along the lines of the subject under study, is a desire on the part of the professor "to be easy on the class." The class, as a rule, and I say it with all due acknowl- edged respect, but, nevertheless, with a knowledge gained of many "profs" and many students-the class, I say, will, as a rule, be easy enough on itself. Occa- sionally we read of a student dying of overstudy. I say we read of it. VVhen a professor tells you that he wants to make things easy for you, watch him and see if he does not make things easy for himself and slight a corresponding amount of work. Had things been "made easy" for every one in his college days, there would now be a most woeful dearth of good medical men on this green footstool. Yet again, a fruitful cause of discord is the practice, seemingly inherent in some men, which is most pic- turesquely, if not best, described as "crabbing." The verb "to crab," I am told by the best authorities on slang and colloquialisms Cnow attending one of 1ny classesj, means to bite, to pinch, to irritate, to crawl, having the characteristics of a crab. I-Iow many of you have seen this man-querulous, fault-finding, inadequate in his teaching and insin- cere in his quizzing, whose chief purpose in life seems to be todemonstrate to his discouraged students that they are a hopeless and impossible aggregation of undesirables, still possessing some of the attributes of human intelligence, but surely and irrevocably 25



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ted that some men are natural teachers, having, in a higher degree than others, those requisites of tact and ability to impart knowledge and inspire interest and application. It is also admitted that students vary greatly in disposition and ability, and that classes formed of heterogeneous materials can never be alike, and that no two classes can be relied upon to act in the same way. Some wise man, although probably not particularly well acquainted with the genus homo as represented by the medical student, has laid down the law that, although one cannot prejudge what any given man will do, one can, with considerable accuracy, prophesy what a number of men in a body under a given set of circumstances will attempt. For that reason, it is safe to say that all classes, medical or otherwise, are assembled for the common purpose of acquiring knowledge, and will act in har- mony with all efforts to further that end. It is therefore natural to suppose that the proper way to maintain the proper relationship between teacher and taught is in a mutual effect to attain the accomplish- ment of the results for which these two are brought together, viz., the acquirement of medical training. This may sound to many like a mere elaboration of the old adage to get in and work, and, after thinking it over, I am of the same opinion. However, the advice is sound, although old, and students may take comfort from the fact that the prescription calls for hard work on the professor's part also. lt is my belief, and I think it is the experience of most teachers, that relations with the classes are, as a rule, of the 1nost pleasant nature. and in this con- nection we ought to remember that those of our faculty whom we look back upon with the fondest remembrances are those very men who kept our noses closest to the proverbial grindstone. Xhfhen all is said and done, and argument tried and laid aside, it is well to remember that the relationship between professor and student should be, and l think usually is, that of two men working wholly 'and agreeablv together, eondoning each other's faults and sharing each other's burdens, keeping- always in view and maintaining ever in their minds that object for which both have given themselves. the addition of more useful members to that most stern of mothers and most worthy of sciences--medicine. 27

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