Wednesday, May 11, 2016

-- 30 --

Sitting in the college office awaiting the last videos being submitted for the final in Public Speaking. This semester the final was to do a simulated video job interview. More and more preliminary interviews are being held on google chat or skype and so I decided that this semester that would be the final project.  For nearly all of the time I have been teaching public speaking I have started the class by telling students improving the skill of public speaking would have a direct, positive impact on their personal bottom lines. That was my W-I-I-F-M (what's in it for me) statement to get them a reason for doing all of the speaking assignments that were part of the class. Closing with the video interview is something I should of thought of earlier but teaching here on the Coker College campus has been a constant learning experience and the idea just came this semester. The fact that it is my last semester as a college professor just underlines why there has been so much joy in this "job." Life-long learning is a concept we discuss all the time in this liberal arts academy and my experience as a professor has been my concrete example -- semester after semester.

 One of the major elements that I have focused on sharing with students throughout the 16 years I have been doing this job full time is the relevance of the classroom to the real world. One way of making that happen has been professionals in the field of communication who have shared their time in our classrooms.. There were many over the years who made instant positive impacts with their stories and they made a difference to our Coker students learning. I don't think anyone every said no. The photos here show only two examples.

For much of my life I  have had a penchant for sharing what I have been thinking, reading, studying and doing and the classroom has been a fertile ground for some of that kind of discussion. Dr. George Lellis gave me my first opportunity to teach and for years I was an adjunct in the Coker evening program teaching Public Speaking. Back in the days when I was working at Sonoco and also serving on the School Board, the classroom offered such a different experience that it was one I looked to for rejuvenation. Fortunately, that feeling continued once Dr. Lellis and the search committee gave me an opportunity to teach full time back in 2000.  It has been an enjoyable, fulfilling time of watching students grow while feeling my own growth at the same time. The colleagues with whom I have been fortunate to serve Coker and Coker students are among the smartest and most caring people with whom I have worked. They sure helped me grow year after year.

The Coker Community is such a vital part of my personal journey and my personal story that it is a bit difficult to be writing -30- in the headline instead of at the bottom of the story as is the old journalistic sign for THE END. But for college teaching it is -30-, which I really believe is just the transition to another headline of activity that will include all of the memories, experiences and relationships that were my identity as Professor Puff Daddy.


  1. While it's difficult for me to imagine Coker's campus without you there, I wish you much happiness as you embrace your next adventure. Your impact on my life is greater than you know, and your words of wisdom will live on as I share them with my own students in the years to come. You have a great gift for seeing the best in people and for believing in people. You instilled confidence in me through your encouragement and support. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to know you and learn from you.

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