The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • June 18, 2024

There’s nothing quite like Omaha when June rolls around.  Fans from across the country head to Charles Schwab Field to watch their teams...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Prof reaches out with ‘lunch lottery’

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
Shakespeare Professor Jim Harner hosts Lunch Lotteries to learn more about his students.
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Shakespeare Professor Jim Harner hosts “Lunch Lotteries” to learn more about his students.

When Shakespeare professor Jim Harner arrived at A&M, he concluded there was no way he was going to get to know 125 students just by standing in front of the class.
Harner decided he would hold off-campus “Lunch Lotteries,” throughout the semester. Harner said the lunches have one rule — students are not allowed to talk about class.
To qualify for the lunch, Harner said he has his students explain in one to two sentences why they want to have lunch with a professor.
“This came about because when I was an undergraduate, I used to have lunch with professors once or twice a semester,” Harner said.
Harner said he prints the entries out and gives them to his wife to choose from, not asking for the reason why or how. Harner’s wife is a former academic advisor and said she has a special talent for “reading” students.
“I enjoy it because over and over again I have students tell me this is the first lunch with a professor and that’s just too bad, that’s just not good, quite frankly,” Harner said. “It’s a way to get to know a student and try to convince some students that professors are human beings.”
Nandra Perry, associate professor of English and Harner’s colleague for eight years, said she’s heard of the lunch lottery.
“It really speaks volumes about who he is as a teacher,” Perry said.
Harner receives an abundance of compliments not only from colleagues but from students as well. Austen McDonough business sophomore said Harner has a talent for taking Shakespeare’s words and making them relevant today.
“I have never had a professor with the same passion and knowledge about his subject,” McDonough said. “He knows everything there is to know about all of Shakespeare’s plays and it really shows during his lectures. All students know how Tuesday and Thursday classes seem to drag on forever, but his class is so interesting that before I know it the class is over,.”
Harner said he will retire after this year, completing a 27-year tenure at Texas A&M.
Harner began teaching Shakespeare in 1971 at Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio. When he came to A&M, Harner requested that he teach the introductory class because he likes teaching a mix of majors.
“Of all the courses that I have ever taught, I enjoy teaching Shakespeare the most,” Harner said. “It is simply fun to teach. I tell my students, I’ve taught this stuff for 43 years and it doesn’t get old. There’s something new every time.”
Harner said he’s always done his class as a process course not a product course.
“I enjoy interacting with students in terms of watching many of them come away with a better understanding of not only Shakespeare but thinking and reading critically in general,” Harner said.
Laura Estill, assistant professor of English and co-editor of the “World Shakespeare Bibliography” who has only known Harner for about a year and a half, said she knew of his work before she arrived.
“Taking over the World Shakespeare Bibliography is a massive undertaking, and it would not have been possible if he had not been able to guide me to learn the situation,” Estill said.
Part of her job as co-editor is to collect hundreds of books, journals and writings every week about Shakespeare.
Estill said Harner “shepherded” the writings into a digital platform. Harner then released the bibliography to the Internet making it way more accessible.
“Professor Harner is a intellectually generous academic, and he is very supportive of young faculty,” Estill said. “His role with the bibliography has been instrumental for people beyond those just here at A&M. So he has been fantastic for me, but he also helps foster intellectual engagement well beyond A&M, so he works with people all over the world in all different languages.”
Regarding his post-retirement plans, Harner said he will become a “full time grandfather.”
“I’m not planning on it, I’m retiring,” Harner said. “I’m making a very clean break from academia.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *