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My Substitute Semester

March 4, 2013

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology


It began with a vivid dream, in which REM sleep metamorphoses into the awakened conscience, providing a vision of what will or ought to be. In reality, I had a class to teach in five hours. However, at 4 a.m., the hallucinatory dream-realm seemed more real to me than irrational: Benjamin Franklin had visited me with a message for a student in media ethics.

Any teacher, let alone administrator, who would publicize such a visitation, is due for sabbatical or retirement. I get that. But this was an extraordinary time for me. A colleague had passed away suddenly, and I had volunteered to take her class. As a journalism director, I had no classroom responsibilities. The last time I taught media ethics was spring 2003 in my last quarter at Ohio University, where I worked before taking the Iowa State University position.

This is an account of what began as a dream and ended as an affirmation about the importance of higher education.

For the rest of the article, click here or visit: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/02/28/essay-being-administrator-returning-classroom

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