I love teaching the first course in oceanography for non-majors—indeed, that is my professional specialty. Some readers of this column may look upon an assignment to teach a freshman general oceanography course—especially one that fulfills a general education science requirement—as a sentence to a bleak semester of blank faces and repetitive questions. Not me! As attention spans decline and cell phones proliferate, I find I must become more inventive, be more able to explain complex ideas quickly and clearly, and exude even more patience. I gladly accept the challenge.