So, I won the Advisor of the Year Award at Ave Maria University for 2012, the so-called “Good Shepherd” award.  Now, there are all kinds of things to say about this.  First, I never expected it.  When my wife lured me by a strategem to the student awards evening, and I began to sense I was going to get some kind of award, and that’s why, I presumed I would win the “Refiner’s Fire” award again, as I did last year, for most rigorous professor.  You can imagine my surprise, then, when my name was announced for the advisor award instead (the Refiner’s Fire award was omitted this year, for some reason).  How does someone whose goal is to be a kind of drill sergeant in exhorting and pressing students on to excellence win such a thing, in these times?

They say that when you win any kind of award, you should deflect praise from yourself to another, as in non nobis, Domine, non nobis.  Therefore, I say: this year’s award, and last year’s too, reflect well on Ave Maria university’s students.  Those of you who know me, know that any place whose students would award me both the teaching award and the advising award in successive years must be a very serious university indeed.

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