Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Storytelling Adventure

This afternoon, I attended a University Roundtable Lunch (apparently a university tradition since 1948) featuring my all-time favorite professor, Harold Scheub, the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Humanities in the Department of African Languages and Literature. This is the first roundtable event that I've attended. The events take place a few times per semester and are open to all members of the university community and their guests. It's essentially a buffet lunch with a guest speaker for $9. Not bad.

There was a huge turnout today for Professor Scheub, as he is very well known and respected on campus. There were over two hundred pre-registered attendees. I am so glad that Karen suggested that we attend. I've always wanted her to see and experience Professor Scheub in action. He's a little old man with an incredible amount of energy and passion (and fabulous hair!). And he's a world-renowned teacher and scholar. He is definitely the forefront scholar on African oral traditions. Over the course of his lifetime, he's walked over 6,000 miles in South Africa collecting oral traditions. In fact, he still walks everywhere. Doesn't even own a car.

Amazingly, I snagged a spot at the "reserved" head (round) table, which was very sweet. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to Professor Scheub and tell him that I was in his class a few years ago. The lunch buffet was a traditional African stew with cornbread. Professor Scheub spoke for about 40 minutes on the theme of "A Storytelling Adventure," in which he interwove stories of his life with those he's collected during his career. It was fascinating material. I wish that every student here could experience his class, the African Storyteller 210, by the time they graduate. It's definitely one of those life-changing classes that makes you want to work so hard to really "get it." Not many professors have what it takes to make students truly passionate about their studies. Professor Scheub is a master at this. He makes an impact on many young peoples' lives. Professor Scheub is obviously a huge asset to the university community, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to listen to him today and as a student.


TimandJack said...

When you told him that you took his class, did he remember you? I know that he has had many many students since you but it would have been cool if you could have remembered. How did you snag a seat in front?? I bet you were in 7th heaven listening to him once again.

kelly said...

You won the bet. You kept the blog up, and proved me wrong.

Instead of $20 cash - I got you -

Enjoy. It should redirect to your blog.

kristinleigh said...

Thanks, Kel. That was thoughtful. I was just at a meeting in Beloit all morning, and just got into the office. A very nice surprise.