Saturday, February 24, 2018

Know Your Profs: Camosun College Social Sciences chair Daniel Reeve loves a challenge

January 7, 2015 by Jason Schreurs, assistant editor

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series to help you get to know the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions.

Do you have a favourite instructor that you want to see interviewed in the paper? Email and we’ll add your instructor to our list.

This issue we talked to Camosun College Social Sciences chair and Political Science instructor Daniel Reeve (who goes by Dan, just FYI) about changing students’ minds regarding politics, watching the light bulbs go on, and the ongoing problem of youth apathy.

1: What do you teach and how long have you been a teacher at Camosun?

I’ve taught Political Science since 2007.

2: What do you personally get out of teaching?

I love the challenge of turning students around. Some come into my Intro to Political Science class with the expectation that, in their words, “This course will suck.” By the end of the semester, they are switched on. They see the value and relevance, not only to their education and career path, but also to their life.

Camosun’s Daniel Reeve says that school was hard for him as a student (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

Camosun’s Daniel Reeve says that school was hard for him as a student (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

3: What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

School was hard for me. I didn’t go to university right away. When I did go, I had to catch up. Fortunately, I found something that I could utterly nerd out to.

4: What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

That I sometimes sound like an old-school snowboarder dude with a bit of potty mouth.

5: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

Two things: first, it’s a thrill to see the light bulbs go on, to watch my students start to analyze and appreciate their world in a whole new way. They start to connect the dots in whole new ways. Second, to see students who might not have done particularly well in high school, like me, come back to school, get stoked, work hard, and begin to take flight. To help students change who they thought they could be; that’s pretty sweet.

6: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

To see bright students lose faith in their academic journey because of family, work, or financial struggles.

7: What do you see in the future of postsecondary education?

As best I can tell, students will need to learn to think critically about the information presented to them. Google Scholar can get anyone the data, but how do you make sense of it? Can you summarize it in a meaningful and nuanced way?

8: What do you do to relax on the weekends?

I don’t. I have two small children. Work–sitting quietly in my office preparing lectures, marking papers, responding to emails, maybe with some music on in the background–sounds like bliss.

9: What’s your favourite meal?

I love Mediterranean food. Rich hummus, fragrant olives, goat feta, warm pita, Greek salads, roasted lamb…

10: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Apathy. Young people can change their world. Their voice is not only relevant, but sought after.

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