Cries and Whispers

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm often asked "what is my most interesting teaching experience?" Well....

For me, the most interesting student interaction I've experienced was in my early career. I was in the middle of a Thursday morning lecture/discussion when a student started to get up to leave the class.

The student behind her asked, "Are you okay?"

She replied, nonchalantly, " water broke."

Needless to say, I was dumbstruck. I do not remember the grad school class that provided any sort of discussion of what to do when a student goes into labor. Do I get some hot water? Towels? Calipers? Somehow, instinct kicked in, and I walked her to the dean's office where an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital.

I managed to amble back to class and finish, half-heartedly, the day's discussion. More surprisingly, the student was back in class Monday morning ready to dig into learning yet again.

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