Exercise in Expression...Fitness for the Soul
Fun-da-mentals of Character Development
A phenomenon beyond the human brain and nervous system, I believe mind itself, and its limitless ability to imagine and think, is fundamental to all existance and, in some way we don't yet completely understand, the basis of all creation and evolution. So I'd like to begin with a little exercise in imagination as I introduce one of the key elements to this course...character development. First I'd like you to picture your favorite teacher, or at least a teacher whom you are certain he (or she) knows what he's talking about...you can tell by the air about him---exuded by the confidence of his own experience---he's an expert in his field. I remember a few such teachers from my college days. Dr. Ronald Plakke was one of them. A professor of biology at UNC, specializing in comparative anatomy and embryology, but also delving into women's studies, he was perhaps the greatest influence on my formative academic mind. In any event, he portrayed a man of towering intellect, or at the very least one of good solid knowledge. Rarely does the imagination draw from scratch...usually it gets a little push from the past or inspiration from previous experience. Often our own imaginations are inspired by the imaginations of anothers. There was a TV show back in the 1970s called The Paper Chase. It centered around students struggling through law school and featured the penultimate expert teacher, Professor Charles Kingsfield played by veteran actor John Houseman. He was at once the teacher from hell and your greatest ally. When I imagine the ultimate teacher, I think of such characters as these two men...with a little Indiana Jones thrown-in for a good measure of adventure. I call my character Professor Nigel Pinkerton Rathbone. More rogue than academic, Professor Rathbone has absolute confindence in himself and his ideas...and though Nigel can be quite rough around the edges, his dash of British accent implies just the right amount of sophistication for a gentleman.
So, as you begin to imagine your own favorite best teacher, we'll move on to the next course, where you will meet none other than Professor Rathbone himself.