Back in the Paleolithic period, when men and women wore their Sunday best, classroom decorum was unquestioned; the relationship between professor and student was based on a set of unspoken rules. One wonders what their reaction would be to an e-mail message I received from a student: hey prof, owt late last nite …. am sic today. pls emal cls notes. yah thatd b great. thx see u.
I teach a course in public speaking at Borough of Manhattan Community College, part of the City University of New York, in which students give speeches ranging from how to clean a trumpet to solar energy. My job is to show them how to arrange their thoughts, use language to its best advantage and, most important, perform in front of an audience without fear.