Student Feedback Highlights

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Spring of 2017 is my last semester teaching philosophy at the University of Kentucky and Asbury University. Next fall, I’ll be teaching history, theology, writing, and ancient Greek at a secondary school. I may (or may not) end up teaching adjunct at local colleges.

With that in mind, it is nice to look at some student evaluations and see how I did. Some of the below comments are funny, some serious, some moving. Enjoy…

A quiet and cynical atheist business student didn’t mind a garrulous and loud, optimistic religious philosopher professor

“Thank you for being the best professor I’ve had while at UK. You made business ethics, notably a boring subject, into my favorite class of the semester. I know you probably couldn’t tell that I enjoyed either class by the lack of me talking but I did. I probably skip an average of 50% of all my classes, attendance policy or not, but I rarely ever missed any of your classes, for me that is saying a lot. I’m sad to see you leave but I know you’ll do great in California. Thanks for all you’ve done.”

It’s Basically All About the Puns for This Student

“Philosophy has been a semester long class where getting up at 8 am has had its ups and downs. I have gotten into a pun war with Dr. Buhler which made my semester. I still talk about it. Also, Dr. Buhler is so passionate that, even if you don’t like philosophy, you’ll at least catch a smidgen of the excitement that he brings to the course. The book work is long, and sometimes you feel like your head’s about to explode. Any idea you explore seems to be wrong in the end, and you’ll use a lot of logical fallacies in your paper that you didn’t know about. That’s okay. I believe the class is about exploration, and not the kind where you move from place to place. This class helps you go on a journey both through your own head as well as others. You have got to overcome obstacles that are within your own understanding. Otherwise, you’ll never grow as a person. The journey you go through as you explore yourself is what I consider to be the main theme of philosophy class as much as I loved the puns.” (Introduction to Philosophy, TY Asbury 2017)

Changing Outlooks on Philosophy

“I took a philosophy class my first semester of college and it peeked (sic) no interest but, this class allowed me to make connections between life, morals and meanings I didn’t know I had. So, thank you for changing my outlook on philosophy.”(Introduction to Ethics 2017)

“Prior to taking this, I was not the biggest fan of Philosophy. I wasn’t excited about having to write papers, and I felt like this class would be boring. In the end, I found a new respect for this class, and the philosophy behind ethics. I personally feel that credit should be given to the instructor, Dr. Buhller (sic). He made the topics interesting, and very easy to follow with his illustrations and examples. The Friday discussions helped to understand things that weren’t clear as well. I recommend this course to all of those who will be leaders in the world (especially in business).” (Business Ethics 9am 2017, CR)

Learning to Articulate Yourself and Hear Both Sides

“Before this class, I knew what I believed, but had trouble arguing it or justifying it in words. After writing disputations on topics I felt strongly about, I was able to organize my thoughts in a way that I had never known how to do before. I did learn about the “other sides” and could see their perspective more clearly after hearing their position.” (Introduction to Philosophy, TY Asbury 2017)

He’s So Over Feminism

“My least favorite reading/topic we discussed was the reading assigned for Feminist Ethics. I disliked the reading mostly because I was biased going into this topic. My sister is very active about feminism and in all honesty I was just tired of the subject. So when I had to read about it, I spent most of my time reminiscing on the lectures I had received at home which put me in a bad mood the whole time. I’m glad my sister and other women find pride and strength from this but I didn’t want to listen or talk about it anymore.” (Introduction to Ethics, UK 2017)

Engineer’s Can Enjoy Philosphy Too

“I was told [this class] was an enjoyable class that would be an easy A. However, only half of that statement was true. While this may have been my favorite class so far at UK it was not easy, this is not a bad thing! After receiving my first graded disputation I realized I would need to step up my approach to the class and I’m thankful for that. As an engineering major I have not been exposed at all to any outward thinking besides the sciences and I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I would leave class to grab a bite to eat with my girlfriend and spend the whole time talking about how surprisingly there would be different opinions in class but I understood both sides, math doesn’t work like that. Along with this, my fellow students and of course you were new experiences from the usual monotone engineering professors and students. Overall, I’m very thankful I could be a part of this course and could open my mind to some philosophical thinking, thank you for leading something I didn’t expect to partake in. I hope you and your family have a wonderful future in the Golden State and your new job brings you the satisfaction UK hopefully brought you! Remember to do a handstand on the first day!” (NJ Intro to Morality and Society)

She Changed Her Mind On This Tough Issue

“Though I am still trying to find justification for companies’ responsibility to supply safe products to consumers, I have definitely shifted my stance on that issue. In the beginning of the semester, I almost definitely would have argued that it is the responsibility of the company to assure the safety of products; now, I would argue that it is the company’s responsibility to be transparent about the risks of the products they supply, and assuring proper use of these products is the responsibility of the consumer. My mind started to change while reading the article, The Mirage of Product Safety, but our discussion in class (and having my arguments discounted by my fellow classmates) really solidified this change. I’m glad that I got to go experience that, because sometimes I worry that I am too strong in my opinions to entertain others, and now I know that isn’t completely true.” (FR Business Ethics 2017)

Students Who Care!?

“I really enjoyed this semester of business ethics, and I feel much stronger in my positions and arguments now because of it. I feel like I got to know some of my classmates through our interactions, and I liked feeling that bond as a class. In addition, I am impressed with Dr. Buhler for managing to encourage a bunch of kids in a major requirement course to have some of the passionate discussions that we had as a group. I think this class was a very fun and interesting experience, and it will surely be hard to beat.” (FR Business Ethics 2017)

Black students Disputing Affirmative Action

“Affirmative Action is not justified because slavery was like 400 years ago so it’s time people got over it. The only reason racism is still a problem in this country is because every 3 years or so, the mainstream media feels the country is moving on so they dredge up old history to make certain groups feel victimized. This prodding at an old wound and subsequent victim mindset is the reason my more qualified son won’t get accepted into Dartmouth and have to go to Brown. This reverse racism is unconstitutional and immoral.” (Business Ethics 11am, JS 2017)

Philosophy Exposes Lies

If I had to rename the class to truly describe the experience of the class, I would call the course, ‘Introduction to the lie you have been told your entire life and figure out your own opinion’ class. One of the first discussions we had as a class was about who we are. Everything that I would have said such as Asbury student, education major, and so forth, I have soon learned are just things about me, not who I really am.  From this moment on, I began to contemplate “easy” questions that many people only skim the surface of.

Good and Evil

“The hardest topic for me to wrap my mind around was good and evil. My family who are Christians that believe in Jesus really struggle with evil and how God can let it happen. During this section when we talked about how evil is really just the absence of good it made me angry. How could murder just be taking away good and I felt like we never discussed how God could let it happen. It was really hard for me and I am still not for certain on where I stand on it. This section left me with lots of hard questions. I may not go search for all of the answers right now, but I want to continue asking the hard questions and learning about my God even when it is not easy. I am thankful for the class the way it has challenged me to think about my faith, and the professor that challenged me to work harder and do better even when it was hard. Thank you Dr. Buhler.”

Eye Opening

“I would like to add that this class has been extremely mind opening for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the small setting and debate sessions. I feel that many of my perceptions have changed or strengthened due to this class and for that I am very grateful.” (Business Ethics 2017)