Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2004

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Why I teach
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Christopher Hammond

Christopher Hammond
Christopher Hammond

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Joined CC faculty: 2003


In some sense, the question of “why I teach” is not one I have ever asked myself. My vocation is not, as far as I can tell, the result of a conscious choice on my part, but rather a natural tendency, an irresistible compulsion. The issue for me has never been whether I would teach, but what I would teach. The excitement I derive from intellectual pursuits has never been something I could contain within myself; I have always needed an outlet. Throughout my high school and undergraduate careers, I spent a good deal of time tutoring my peers in a variety of subjects. While this activity was certainly worthwhile, I discovered that tutoring alone left me somewhat unsatisfied. I found myself writing lectures, intended for no particular audience, on a host of different topics.

Long before I graduated from college (as it happens, a small, residential liberal arts college), there was no doubt in my mind that teaching was my vocation. In fact, the only significant decision I had to make was in which academic area to continue my studies. In the end, of course, I chose mathematics, largely because of the breathtaking beauty of the material, but also because it was the area in which I decided I had the most to contribute as a teacher.


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