By Dr. John L. Reizer
Editor at NoFakeNews.net
In the summer of 2013 I was hired by a local college in the town where I lived to teach a medical terminology course for students that planned to enter health careers. Prior to this teaching assignment, I had been an associate professor for 11 years at a chiropractic college until I retired in 2010. I had always enjoyed sharing knowledge with the chiropractic students enrolled in my classes. I was very excited to be in front of students again in this new setting.
My new employer was concerned that perhaps I would have a difficult time relating to undergraduate students after working so long with graduate level candidates. I assured them that I was a flexible instructor and welcomed the opportunity to share knowledge with anyone that possessed a desire to learn.
When I received my schedule on the first day of my employment, I saw that my class was scheduled to meet in room 110. After getting all my materials organized, I found room 110 and began preparing for my first lecture.
After a short period of time, students began entering the classroom. As luck would have it, the computer systems and power circuits in the college were not working properly on this day. I was unable to access the student roster sheets and the emergency lights were functioning which allowed the room to be bathed in a very dim level of lighting. Not having access to the computer system or the overhead projection tools that were provided within the facility for classroom instruction, I decided to deviate from the scheduled curriculum that I had previously planned to teach.
After a brief introduction, I began talking to the students about healthcare. The class time allotted was two hours. After a few minutes of speaking about some very general subjects that related to health careers, one of the students asked me a question regarding my opinion on the safety of vaccines for young children. My stomach immediately had a strange feeling inside it. Of all the audiences that I had lectured in front of over the course of my career, I never expected a controversial question about a healthcare topic from this group of students. But there it was right in front of me, not even 15 minutes into the scheduled class time. I dove right in and answered the question as truthfully as I could. I held nothing back from the students. I never do.
To make a long story somewhat shorter, I will tell my readers that I covered subjects in that two hour period of classroom time that I never covered in all the years I worked at the chiropractic college when I was regularly in front of graduate students.
The students in room 110 were interested and fully engaged in the conversations taking place. There were many intelligent questions asked by students and they were extremely receptive to the answers I attempted to offer.
When the class had ended, I left room 110 feeling very fulfilled. Room 110 had changed my life forever. I would never prejudge a group of students again. The students in room 110 had received and processed the information I had shared with them better than many of the professional graduate students I had come into contact with for many years.
The following Monday, the next time my class was scheduled to meet, the electrical and computer systems were functioning normally again. I was relieved to learn that I would have full access to my PowerPoint files and that I could begin to teach the prescribed curriculum.
When I went to my mailbox in the faculty mail room, I noticed that my classroom assignment had been changed to room 114. I looked over the paperwork that had announced the room change as well as some updated student rosters for my course. Once I walked inside of room 114, I realized that none of the students sitting in the classroom looked familiar.
To this day, I am not sure whose students I lectured to in room 110. I know now that they were not assigned to me. It had been the best two hours of my teaching career and yet it had been a mistake.
Sometimes the best experiences that are offered in your life turn out to be mistakes. You have to try and make the most out of every opportunity that is presented. I will never forget room 110 for as long as I live.