While he was supervising my undergraduate thesis research, he sent me for a
one-week astronomy research trip. When I returned and discovered that I had
pointed the telescope at the Big Dipper instead of the Little Dipper, he worked
patiently and enthusiastically with me for two weeks to salvage useful data from
the wrong Dipper!


By presenting each thinker in the best possible light, he left it to the students to
decide which ideas were the most reasonable at the end of the day (though our
conclusions had better be well-defended)! He required that we engage with the
material wholly and completely. We had to earn the right to criticize the thinker,
resulting in some very good work and essays I am proud of to this day.


He always found a way of helping me understand that the struggle I found
myself in was not a sign of some personal deficiency. Sensing what was at the
root of my problem, he calmly repeated to me at every meeting that it was my
job to create new ideas and get them down on paper and his job to make sure I
stayed the course.