He Said, “Yes”: President Davies Visits Pre-Service English Teachers to Discuss Writing OR A President Who Is a Writer

On Thursday, November 29, I found myself in ENG 319:  Composition Methods at CMU, reviewing a set of responses my students had just written as feedback for what I’ll call momentarily and generically a text–a common occurrence that semester, thanks to the bolstered clinical experiences recently approved for English majors at CMU earning teaching credentials 7-12.   In truth, however, the so-called text was decidedly not just any text; it was an urgent message and call to action from President Robert O. Davies that was distributed to the entire university community the morning after a hate crime had taken place on campus.  (Read the message from President Davies embedded below or click here to open the message in a new tab.)

Assessing my students’ work, I was immediately inspired to share their feedback with President Davies and then invite him to our final exam session to discuss his message; however, I first asked my students for their approval.  As it turned out, reactions were mixed:

“That would be amazing!”

“Do you think he would really visit our class?

“Probably not.  He’s way too busy to spend time with a bunch of undergraduates.”

“No way.”

“OMG.  How cool would that be if he actually visited?

“Let’s do it!”

Central Michigan University President Robert Davies (photo courtesy of CMU)

With my students’ approval and mindful of university protocol, I didn’t write directly to President Davies.  Instead, I sent an invitation to his executive assistant the following morning, waited barely three hours, and received an answer:  He said yes!

Continue reading
Posted in Reflections | 1 Comment