Thursday, September 13, 2012

Advice From The Experts: Professor, Rapper, Award-Winning Author!

Pop Quiz! Recall the names of your former college professors. Ok... Go!

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

I don't know about you, but I can't remember the names of any of my college professors - except for one (make that two)... Dr. Reuben A. Buford May (and his alter-ego Reginald Stuckey). Now I didn't go to some online college. This is not a joke. I actually went to a respected college and had the pleasure of learning from a professor with a fully developed and lively alter-ego, which he used in the classroom and continues to use to this day.

Crazy? Maybe. Fun? For sure. Inspiring? Most definitely!

Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. May... The first day of class, he made lots of people VERY uncomfortable. He laid down the terms of our classroom relationship right off the bat, saying that if you didn't like his policies, then you were welcome to leave. We lost a few soldiers that day, and I'm sure most of them complained to the department.

Those who stayed were asked to introduce themselves. As we said our names, he began to ask us questions to get to know us. But they weren't just any questions. I remember Dr. May asking one girl how many pounds of flour it took to make 20 batches of cupcakes. Wait, what?!?

When he got to me, he asked what high school I went to. I answered Wheeler and he responded 'Ah... the blue and gold'. Again, how did this guy know my school colors? How did he know that girl worked at a bakery over the summer?

It had the effect of making one very uncomfortable, yet very intrigued (keep in mind, this was before Facebook stalking was a viable option for garnering information). But that was just the beginning! Dr. May's class and teaching technique made a huge impact on me personally (and almost every other person who walked into his classroom). He pushed us to step outside our comfort zones. He helped make connections between students that might not otherwise have ever spoken to each other. He made us all WANT to come to class. I truly believe you'd be hard-pressed to find one of his students late for class. It just didn't happen. God forbid we all miss something!

In a way, he was like Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie Dangerous Minds. He had an uncanny ability to break through our shells and open us up so that we could learn wholeheartedly. 

I asked Dr. May and his alter-ego Reginald Stuckey to write tomorrow's article on the topic of breaking boundaries. If anyone knows how to break a boundary, it's this guy.

So keep an eye out for tomorrow's article... there might even be a rap to go along with it (did I mention he's a rapper)?

To hold you over, here's an article about the infamous Stuckey. Read and be amazed!


  1. Gotta love Stuckey!

  2. Ms. Yarbrough, how my eyes were delighted to come across this during my daily facebook news feed once-over. I think May's question to me was something like "You have seven dimes and two nickels. How much money do you have?" Uhhhhhh...this must be a trick question. Oh, and can't forget this little gem, "MY BOYFRIEND PLAYS THE VIOLIN!" *confused looks from the students* "I SAID, MY BOYFRIEND PLAYS THE VIOLIN!" *more confused and uncomfortable looks*

    1. Oh Mr. Shain, you just made me LOL. I still don't get the dimes and nickels question, but hey, those were good times. No debating that. Hope you're doing well and taking the world by storm! :)