Though Professor Gerald Tucker initially confounded me, as he did many first year students, he became one of my favourite professors at Bishop’s University while I was there – perhaps my favourite. He never finished the curriculum for any class I took with him – I’m not sure we ever made it 2/3rds of the way through any – and he usually strayed from the point, but no other professor at Bishop’s, or where I did my grad school, ever provoked me to think like Tucker did. He would say things – sometimes seriously but often jokingly – that would provoke my brain and / or my emotions like nobody else.
When I got to Bishop’s I was set in my ways. I had always been one of the smartest people my age I knew and I was used to being right about everything in my peer groups and especially within my family, where my parents no doubt humoured most of my more ridiculous ideas. But with Tucker I suddenly had to re-think everything. He got me to completely reverse my political views at the time and caused me to question many more things than I ever would have thought I would question. He is probably more responsible than any other person for my current political views, as he introduced me to Hannah Arendt and Albert Camus, who form much of the basis for these views.
I have never had another teacher (at any level of school or in my professional life) like him. He will be missed.