When I heard the news that day … Oh boy. I had received an email from a man whom I knew only as the father of a (now former) student. We had met once, a few years ago when his son graduated, and he gave me a very nice bottle of wine, which I shared with a select group of wine experts only last Christmas. The wine had aged well and was outstanding.
He gave me the wine as a gift for having “done so much for his son” while he, the son, was an undergraduate student. It was true. I had done a lot for the young man. I had many long conversations with him about lofty sciency concepts, and he took a couple of my classes, but mainly I had helped him out by setting him up with fieldwork opportunities in South Africa. This young man, whom I’ll call John, was one of a small number of undergraduates that I’ve either taken with me to the field or arranged to go to the field to work with my colleagues there. I am very very careful about which students I might bring or send to the field. I am so careful that sometimes I make the mistake of accidentally chasing away a student that I shouldn’t have chased away.1 John was carefully selected by me for this opportunity, as well as by a colleague of mine who also sent John off to the field (to a different continent). Continue reading From Graduate School to Prison: What is the rational argument for ELF or ALF?→