Recently by Robert Anthony Watts:

Student sleeping

This past spring, I attended a championship story slam with a student I have advised and whom I know well. This student is a gifted writer and a funny, self-deprecating storyteller. I could easily claim that I thought attending the slam might give her insight about a research project I was advising her on. But the truth is that I simply thought she would enjoy the slam and might find an outlet for her own storytelling. The issue of engaging with a student outside of formal class time is, of course, a tricky one these days, especially if the professor is a male and the student a female. I will address the potential pitfalls as well huge opportunities of engaging with students outside of class in another essay.
More… “Breaking Baccalaureate”

Robert Anthony Watts is an associate teaching professor in Drexel University’s Department of English and Philosophy.


One of the great disappointments of my undergraduate years in college in the early 1980s was the number of classes taught by graduate students.


To give them their due, these graduate students were good enough teachers. My complaint about them had little to do with the quality of their teaching. What I hated was the way they dressed. They looked like slobs.

The graduate students who taught me wore old, faded jeans or frumpy, wrinkled corduroys. They donned tennis shoes of the sort worn by junior high students, only theirs were dirtier and scruffier. The women, as I recall, dressed better than the men, though only slightly so. Of all the graduate students who taught me, I recall only one — a woman who taught Introductory French — who looked good. She wore elegant blouses, pressed… More…