My philosophy of teaching is simple, and perhaps disappointing to some students. I see my responsibility as threefold:
- to know a lot about my subject — what might be termed “expert” knowledge — which is very, very far from knowing everything about my subject.
- to have the professional knowledge and experience to learn more about my subject — to control and direct my own learning within the field.
- to support my students in any way that I can, personally, intellectually, academically. To hold them to a high standard, to challenge them, and to be there for them.
But beyond this, it is really the student’s obligation to use the college experience to learn, grow, and forge the knowledge basis for a successful career and a satisfying life. The value that students receive from college is almost entirely a function of the effort, enthusiasm, creativity, and soul that they bring to the process. A lousy professor can’t hold back a student who is hungry for knowledge, nor can a terrific professor force knowledge into the heads of students who are apathetic or unprepared. Nor does one college make the difference over another; some may look better than others on your resumé, some may have cultures that suit you better than others, but for a motivated student who wants to learn, any college will do.
What follows is some miscellaneous information for current students. For course syllabi please click here.
Please contact me only through my Loyola email address, or by stopping into my office hours and talking in person. These are the only ways to contact me. Sometimes I may give out my cell number in class for a specific purpose; please do not abuse it.
Also, please remember to check your Loyola email regularly. I do not have access to your gmail, your facebook, etc.
What to Call Me
I’m pretty easygoing about what students call me. You can call me “Professor Faber” or “Dr. Faber” but you can also call me “Lo” and I’m fine with that. Many students opt for “Professor Lo” which I find kind of charming. Please show your respect for me and this institution by showing up on time and working hard in my course, rather than by addressing me a certain way.
Note that there are other professors who feel differently. They have earned the right to be addressed formally and have strong reasons for insisting on it. I do not want my easygoing policy to undermine them, so please respect their wishes.
After you have graduated (if you still want to be friends!) then you can add me as a friend on facebook. If you are a senior and it is clear that you will not have any more courses with me, you can add me. I do not accept friend requests from current students.
God Street Wine and All That
Yes, I used to be a rock musician, and yes, you can learn quite a bit about that aspect of my life through the magic of Google and Youtube. I am very glad when students are interested in my music, and often happy to discuss my music life — after class. We will not be taking up class time with a discussion of Lo Faber the musician.
I grade tough. I put a lot of time and thought into assigning students the right grades. When students complain about grades after the course (as some do) my response is “why should you be complaining that you got a D? I’m the one who has a legitimate complaint: you came into my course and did D work.”
Don’t be the student who comes in two weeks from the end of the semester and asks what they can do to pull a C up to an A. You can’t. It’s too late. Be the student who comes in in the first week and asks what my expectations are for an A (they are high).
Naturally, you should notify me as soon as possible if you think I’ve given you a mistaken grade based on a mathematical error. This has happened; human error. We’ll get it fixed.
Current students should have the syllabus already because a) it was handed out the first day of class in hard copy form and b) it is available as a PDF on Blackboard.
But if you have somehow wound up here confused, OR if you are a potential student who is considering taking one of my courses, please click here for (some of) my course syllabi.