My sweatshirt—a Christmas present from an irreverent daughter—says “I Used to Teach, Now I Have No Class”.

Words remind that a former student telephoned me at home one Saturday night. He remembered that I recruited a half-dozen students then led a march between the aisles, clapping my hands together, and humming the march from an opera.

“Professor Elam, I’m calling from outside Chapel Hill. I’m standing here with another member of that class. You wanted us to remember the opera title and what the letters might remind us. We can’t even agree on the opera title.”

I beamed into my telephone. “I’m glad you remembered that class. You may also remember that the opera title suggested four steps for writing an advertising or promotional message. The opera was ‘Aida;’ the four steps: A—get attention, I—develop interest, D—create a desire, A—call for action. A-I-D-A.”

The ex-student replied. “Thanks for nothing, Doc. I just lost a drink at the bar.”