Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lunches with Donavan Ramon

More discussion concerning my happiness this semester....

We recently hired a new professor, Donavan Ramon, in African American literary studies. He joined us in fall 2021. One main reason we hired him was so that we could expand the size of our program for first-year black men students. 

I am viewed as one of Ramon's "faculty mentors," though I sometimes shy away from that designation. But then, I did recall the approach of my own faculty mentor, Eugene B. Redmond, my first year at SIUE in 2003-2004. Monday - Thursday, Redmond would call me to have brief conversations at 7:00 am. For my entire first year! 

I wouldn't do Ramon like that. But I did decide to establish a weekly lunch with him so we could talk about teaching, research and writing, and adjusting to SIUE. So that's what we did. For his entire first year. 

We had a good time. And we both learned a lot. We got to trade ideas on novels and scholarly works. We got to think about what worked and didn't work in our classes. We reflected on our past experiences as undergraduates and graduates students. We speculated about next year's students. And on and on. Really good times.

Our colleagues Cindy Reed and Elizabeth Cali sometimes joined us for some of the lunches. 

Ramon and I really settled into a groove with our discussions by his second semester. Our meetings, along with the other ones I was having, were integral to my ability to have such a happy semester. 


No comments: