Words From Wartime

Robert M. Hazard, an assistant professor of English at the College of DuPage, outside Chicago, recently had a student named Tim who seemed, at first, to be thriving.

"He was a great student," Hazard said of the pupil who had cruised through his literature course. "He smiled and said all the right things in class."

But when Tim, who is in his 30s and came to college to earn a degree in automotive technology after serving two tours in Iraq, enrolled in Hazard’s composition class, things changed, the assistant professor said here Thursday during a packed session, "Generation Vet: Composing with a New Student Population," at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communications.

Tim stopped coming to class. Hazard, who also serves as the faculty adviser for the veterans’ association at DuPage, reached out to him. He cajoled and pleaded for his student to come back to class, but it was too late: Tim had lost interest. “He just disappeared,” said Hazard.

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