Teaching Inattentive Students

While lecturing, I learned not to check on the attentiveness of every student — that would be counterproductive. To earn the students’ concentration, I learned to “talk to the walls,” that is, to speak in a low voice, pretending to be speaking to myself, which gave the impression that I was totally immersed in my ideas. The idea that I liked best was the idea that the students understood and remembered most.

“Teaching in Beirut,” in “An Invitation to Laughter: A Lebanese Anthropologist in the Arab World,” by Fuad Khuri, 2007

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