It’s gratifying to see young people getting involved in politics, but especially so given their strong support for Bernie Sanders, the most progressive candidate running for President. That combined with the fact that Bernie will be speaking at George Mason University, where I taught political theory for 12 years, is making me nostalgic.
I dedicated twenty years of my life to classroom teaching — beginning with adjunct teaching at Princeton, Rutgers, and Hunter College, followed by tenure-line jobs at Illinois State University and Mason — and one of the things I loved most was connecting with students. There were many high points and lots of students I will never forget.
During my last year of teaching, my students really kept hope alive for me, when I was feeling very dark about the state of the country.
One highlight was registering students to vote in 2008. I always stressed the importance of voting to my students, and I sincerely hope that young people across the country will exercise their civic duty in 2016 — and that they will understand that democratic citizenship requires a lot more of us than just voting.