Why I Teach

Lisa Perks, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in English

Have you heard about the latest Justin Beiber Twitter hoax? Thanks to my students, I am well-informed about the activities of “Beliebers.” And, thanks to my students, my job never gets boring. The reason I teach can be summed up with the word “variety.” Every course I teach, every student I interact with, every day I walk into the classroom, I am met with a unique situation. I’ve taught Media Ethics for five years, and each new crop of students raises different issues through their case studies. We have discussed why it is illegal for television news to broadcast the act of a human cannonball without his consent, the ethics of paparazzi hounding Patrick Swayze when he was dying from pancreatic cancer, and missteps of reporters using hidden cameras to capture grocery stores adding bleach to expired ground beef before putting it back on the shelves. Unlike the ground beef in the latter example, the environment that students and I co-create will never get old.