by Craig A. Smith
The year was 1977 and I had accepted a teaching assistantship (TA) with the Botany Department at UNC-Chapel Hill.
My first assignment was Botany 10 with professor "Willie" Koch. The biological equivalent of Rocks for Jocks, this was "the biggest slide at the university" by the professor’s own admission. Here you could get college credit for brewing your own beer, getting drunk, and describing the experience in 250 words or less.
The 150 freshmen were divided in half. I got A-M and Karen McDougal took N-Z. The first day of class they told me
"Michael who?" At that time, he was well know on Campus, but had not gained the national recognition he holds today.
"Don’t worry, the coach will fix it for him"advised the professor.
I was relieved. But then I started thinking. What if I were to register for a class, but then not attend and get an F, but then my coach fixed it for me. Why would I take Botany 10? Why not ancient Greek philosophy or high-energy particle physics? Something that would look good on the resume in case the basketball thing didn’t work out.
Copyright © 2003 by Craig A. Smith