I read Thomas H. Benton’s lastest column in the Chronicle of Higher Education with a mixture of empathy and horror. I definitely have had students who have given me the creeps (including one who followed me to my car after a graduate seminar, although eventually he quit when I told him firmly to cool it). What’s horrifying is his lack of empathy for students with serious mental health problems (and for students in general).
I can’t help wondering if the “glares of hatred” he receives from some students is a product of the really hateful attitude that comes through in this column. Perhaps it’s time for a sabbatical? At any rate, I hope the Chronicle finds some new columnists (moi?) to inject some fresh perspectives into this section.