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Passionate Professor Gets Teary-Eyed About The Death of Abraham Lincoln As the Whole Class Fully Browses Facebook


Photo by Steve Perrin / CC BY 2.0

Timothy Dean is a tenured history professor with an unmatched knowledge and passion for Civil War studies. In his free time, he does pretty much nothing besides watch Ken Burns documentaries about the American South and crafting charcoal portraits of Abraham Lincoln. He teaches a course on the Civil War this semester, but unfortunately, the administration just decided the class double counts for both a Sector and Foundational Approach. This explains why all of his students could not care less about what he has to say.

Last week, in lecture, Professor Dean reached the portion of the course he had mentally been preparing himself for: Abraham Lincoln's assassination. He felt so connected to Lincoln's life and legacy that he could not help but get emotional about it. As he began to lecture about that fateful evening at the Ford's Theatre, Professor Dean found that he was tearing up. He just couldn't handle it. He looked up at the classroom, as if to find consolation from his students, when he found that every single person in the room was looking right at their laptops. Some kids even had headphones in. He felt alone, betrayed, devastated. Nothing could stop the tears now.

Dean reports that his crying went on for at least five to ten minutes. Still, no response from his students. He knows they were using class time to browse Facebook, and there was nothing he could do about it. Finally, we asked him when he was going to give out the midterm to the class. Right then, he burst into tears one more time.