Commentary  The Revenge of Doctor Cornett

Re: “Paging Doctor Cornett” | Commentary | October 8

Since attending Norman Cornett’s course entitled “The Soul and Soul Music” in the early days of summer 2001, the professor has been a mentor, friend, and inspiration. By now, you have no doubt heard the countless testimonies of former students: how the professor looked you in the eye upon your first meeting and remembered your name and, what’s more, who you are, ever more. Now, Cornett is not orthodox, and McGill clearly is. Perhaps it is time our beloved University took a risk and attempted a return to humanism in its approach to learning. Perhaps it is time McGill reconsider its decision in firing the professor and overturn it to show that it is not a mindless, insensitive institution, turning out graduates like so many cattle into an ever-increasingly austere, cold, and mechanical world. Perhaps it is time the University, and the people in charge of hiring and firing, show that sometimes the unorthodox can and should become the convention, rather than the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps it is time McGill show the world why it is not just an ordinary institution of learning, but that it is a great centre of learning and return humanity to the classrooms, like William Osler brought bedside manner to the medical practitioner’s consulting room. Would someone please come to their senses and hire back Professor Cornett?! It is the only right thing to do. Would the professor accept? Stay tuned…

Eric TouchburnBA History and Humanistic Studies (2002)