Via Edmundson, here's a really great piece by William Deresiewicz, a Yale literature prof, about how our culture doesn't have an easy way to understand the intellectual stimulation at the heart of a good student-teacher relationship. So erotic stimulation becomes the proxy, and humanities profs get depicted in movies as horny, middle-aged creeps.
And speaking of student-teacher relationships, I just got the comments from my spring course evaluations. There were two. One said, "[PGS] is pretty pimp for a philosopher," and the other said, "[PGS] = The Shit." Obviously, I’m mentioning this to brag, since I'm an inexperienced and insecure teacher, and I’m desperate to advertise the fact that I’m not a total asshat in the classroom.
But thinking about the job market, these comments suck ass. I really need some positive student comments to put in my teaching portfolio. Like, I really need them. I don't have any. But these comments are no more usuable that ones saying I routinely show up to class with no pants on, and I offer students sips out of a bottle of Jamieson’s I keep in my office.