Responsible to Students


Are We Responsible?  For What and To Whom?

From Derrida's Columbia lecture:
If we could say we (but have I not already said it?), we might perhaps ask ourselves: where are we? And who are we in the university where apparently we are? What do we represent? Whom do we represent? Are we responsible? For what and to whom? If there is a university responsibility, it at least begins with the moment when the need to hear these questions, to take them upon oneself and respond, is imposed.  This imperative for responding is the initial form and minimal requirement of responsibility.
(From Scholes' Rise and Fall of English, 44)

Scholes responds to this except later in his book.  He writes:
One answer to Jacques Derrida's questions--"Are we responsible? For what and to whom?"--is that we are responsible to our students.  And for what? For helping them to find what they need to get from their academic studies.  What our students need, as I see it, is first of all some guidance in learning how to understand their world and survive in it, and secondarily some grounds for criticizing and trying to improve it... It is the disparities between our professional needs and our personal desires, as well as the gap between our pedagogical practices and the needs of our students, that turn us into hypocritics. (84)

What Fears in Writing Have You Overcome? What Not?