Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What College My Professors Have Taught Me

Dr. Thornton taught me that I CAN do it. Whatever it is, no matter how LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE it seems, if I just put my head down and conquer one step at a time, I WILL get to the end. I cannot thank him enough for such a valuable life skill.

Mrs. Parker inspired me in one of my darkest times. Fall of my freshman year, when I was angry and jaded and lonely and depressed, she brought the light of Words back to me. Her untarnished passion for stories ignited joy from the center of my heart. She Loved words with a capital L and her Love could not help but overflow to all her students. I am convinced that every single student left her class with a better appreciation of language. I will never forget how much she meant to me and encouraged me.

Dr. Stanke taught me the powerful beauty of genuinely engaging with people and committing them to memory.

Mr. Salsbury taught me how to understand what a professor wants from me. He taught me the value of going to your professors' offices and letting them help you. He taught me that sometimes, people just want you to read their minds and you have to figure out how to do that. I believe this to be another valuable skill as I seek post-graduation employment XD

Dr. Peterman taught me the value of mentor relationships. She taught me that I am allowed to speak like an adult and be treated like an adult. She taught me the benefit of building goodwill and actually trying your best. She's taught me that Loving and playing with words does not have to be an artsy-fartsy, wishy washy, gray area, but can be an exciting, clever, and concrete world that requires agile intellect and logical thinking skills. She helped me wed my love of beauty with my love of reason.

Dr. McNair reminded me how much fun it is to surprise people with kind-spirited irony.

Dr. Dunnum taught me to See words deeper, to look not only below the word's surface, but behind and beside and above it. He taught me to ask deeper, bigger questions. He taught me to ask How? and then prove it. He taught me to ask Why? and then try to find the answer. And he taught me that not finding the answer does not constitute a failure.

Dr. Morefield taught me how to love books better. He taught me to savor the language, the story, and the people (good characters are not just "characters," but real people to be understood). Reading Emma in his class was probably the most fun I've ever had reading for school.

Dr. Truffin taught me that having wild style does not preclude being hired as a professional. She taught me how to be professional without compromising or apologizing for who you are. She taught me how to facilitate discussion, be an active listener, appreciate others' work, and participate in great arguments.

Dr. Schroeder taught me that it is possible to get an A in a class where it is allegedly impossible to get an A. He taught me the most Greek I've ever learned in one place, which basically makes him my hero. He taught me to wrestle with FREAKING HUGE ideas and come out sane. He taught me to love Aristotle even more. I only had one class with him (Ancient Political Thought), but it is one of my favorite classes of all time. I can't even describe how cool it was.

Dr. Poe taught me that not all psychologists are the same, and that if I ever go to one, I want him/her to be like her.

I honestly believe that I could not have gotten a better education anywhere else.


1 comment:

  1. love this!

    i wish i would have written something similar about my professors when i was still there and everything was still fresh.

    but i won't forget my printmaking instructor...tho her name escapes me at the moment. she was never satisfied with what i did and while i was in her class i kind of hated her for it. like, why is my work not good enough for you, you stuffy old lady!!??

    and then in hind sight i came to realize that she wanted me to be great. she wanted me to ask the tough questions and push beyond the screen that keeps good artists from being great artists. she wanted me to take chances and not play it safe and really put my soul into my printmaking instead of just trying to get by with an easy a. had i realized this while i was still under her instruction, i would have had a much more productive semester. but, alas, hindsight is twenty/twenty and sometimes we are blinded by our own insecurities while the moment is upon us. such are the lessons of life ;)