A student in my math course at Ohlone State College in Fremont, Calif., developed a severe case of tendinitis. Since she couldn’t write, she brought a video camera to tape my lectures. After three or four classes, I asked her if she found the method satisfactory. She said it was working quite well, even better than note-taking.

"Actually," she confessed, "I have another reason for doing this. When I told my mother you were a widower, she wanted to see what you look like."