Passing down a tradition of teaching• January 12, 2005
I had an excellent mentor to observe on our spring break immersion trip to Greece. While [classics professor] John Fischer’s approach to teaching is an extension of his personality and not something anyone could consciously try to mirror, it was amazing to watch his interactions with students. An outside observer would never have guessed that they were undergraduates at a small liberal arts college: the extent of their research and seriousness of purpose marked them as what most anyone would agree is a graduate-level experience.
Forget what comes to mind when you think of a group of students from a college for men on spring break in Greece—these students really treated the trip with the respect and effort it deserved, and John had a lot to do with that. What was amazing is not just that he could command such a level of diligence, but that the students also so thoroughly enjoyed his company (aided, of course, by outbursts on "fecklessness" and "impotent wild hogs!").
John really showed how sound scholarship and good humor can co-exist!
In the evenings, over dinner, he entertained religion professor Jonathan Baer and myself with stories of the ‘old days’ at Wabash. This institutional history became an important part of what I learned on the trip, given John’s many years of experience at the College."
Assistant Professor of Art Elizabeth Lee, who accompanied Professor of Classics John Fischer H’70 and his students last spring during an immersion trip to Greece.