chapter  10
10 Pages

Teaching Persuasion

I have taught an undergraduate course entitled “Principles of Persuasion” virtually every year since 1970. This course is my passion as an undergraduate teacher. Securing the right to teach it was one of only two demands I made during my first job interview in 1970. A guarantee to teach an eventual graduate course in rhetorical criticism was the second. At the time, it did not occur to me to demand an annual salary as well. Luckily, I was hired by a kindly gentleman who, fearing for my family’s welfare, also promised to pay me. Needless to say, I was much more sophisticated by the time of my second job interview in 1979. Then, after securing the right to teach the undergraduate persuasion course and the graduate course in criticism, I immediately initiated a salary discussion. No longer was teaching the persuasion course merely an opiate for me and my people. By 1979 I had learned the essential Marxian couplet: Power is good; pay is better.