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Michel Desjardins scores a teaching award hat-trick
Winner of the 2001 WLU Award for Teaching Excellence
Dr. Michel Desjardins, a professor in Laurier's Department of Religion and Culture, has just won the 2001 WLU Award for Teaching Excellence. It comes on top of two awards he won at the University of Toronto in the 1990s: an American Academy of Religion/Lilly Teaching Fellowship and a U of T Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Desjardins compares teaching that works to a successful play in hockey. In hockey, he says, "you spend thousands of hours working on the fundamentals; gut-wrenching, getting-in-shape exercises where you get conditioned and learn the fundamentals. On the ice you exist as part of a whole, and when the magic works, each person is taken to another level, one pass leading to another, one play anticipating the next, the whole being greater than its individual parts."
"It's like that in teaching,"says Desjardins. "You spend thousands of hours (getting to this place), then maybe 20 hours preparing your lecture or seminar and it either works or it doesn't. It's an extraordinary thing. If nothing happens, the teaching didn't happen, but when it does, the universe comes together for a moment."