Wednesday of this last week was hot for us. Eighty degrees at four o’clock, and with no air conditioning and afternoon light streaming in my classroom was cooking and my students sagging. Just as I was to start, in walks this young, handsome guy with lots of hair (unlike me) with tattoos running up and down his arms and his little dog trailing behind him on a leash. He said he was from the Arts Department and had an announcement to make. I said OK, since I don’t mind announcements. Then the guy began to read from a prepared statement indicating that I, Nick Tingle, had been selected Distinguished Teacher of the Year (2009-2010) from among the non-senate faculty.
I was embarrassed and surprised sitting there having praise heaped on me. The students didn’t really get what was going on, but applauded politely at the appropriate moment. The guy took his dog from a student who had been holding it and left. Then I had to teach for an hour and forty minutes. By the time that was over, I felt as if the whole thing with the guy with the dog and tattoos had been an hallucination.
I honestly wasn’t sure it had happened. The University makes mistakes. For example, I knew I had been nominated for the honor, and I had been informed in an email that the person selected would be notified by the end of last week. Having not heard anything by the end of that week, I concluded I had been passed over, and had already gone through denial and then anger in the grieving process. What a waste of energy…and then this guy shows up.
Given who I am (paranoid) and the slight irregularity of the situation, I still was not convinced it had happened the following morning. Eventually though I got this: Tingle.pdf
So it looks like it did happen, and I have indeed been selected as Distinguished Teacher of the Year (2009-2010).
And I am honored.
The guy with tattoos.