Professors are not so great students

Laura Browder, a professor of English, writes about her experience taking an eight-week intensive summer course on Russian. saying,

Yet I kept exhibiting all of the inexplicably bad behavior of students I had taught over the years.

In other words, we are just like our students when we are in their position, and so when they don't seem to have studied, it may not be the case:

For our final oral exam, I picked a 12-line poem by Osip Mandelstam to recite. I spent three hours memorizing it, practiced it out loud while walking to the exam room, and then, after three words, found my mind going blank. At that point, all I could do was laugh—and then stumble my way through the rest of the poem. As a teacher, I would have assumed that a student behaving as I did simply hadn't bothered to learn her poem.

I remember when I took an intensive classical Greek course in the summer of '84, which meant going to class five hours a day for twelve weeks. It took five hours after class to review what we'd covered in class. I was going nuts. Perhaps that's why I asked the same exact question five times over a two-day period. (Each time, after I asked the question, I then remembered I had already asked it.) Yet, each time, the professor, Gareth Morgan, gave the answer without indicating that it was out of the ordinary. And so, we should keep it in mind when our students don't seem to be learning or trying that we are no different when in similar situations.