Giving, a prototype and who we should all aspire to be more like

There are two professors from my four year college experience I’ll never forget. One was an economics instructor; she kicked ass and made the students what, to this day, remains the most messed up deal in my academic career. She offered an easy, “A,” to whoever was willing to take notes. I raised my hand and felt a warm, fuzzy glow from being selected. Only later did I realize, I’d been had. From my feverish note taking and paying attention like my future depended on it to my copious notes (verbatim, thank you) her class is the only one from my four year experience where I can share what I learned and can tell you why it matters. I can’t thank her enough even though I got a 100% raw deal; there was only one other class in my academic history where I sweated bullets like that. Yep, Acting 101 is a nightmare. Like so many other amateurs, I thought I had a clue. The well intentioned instructor proceeded to break all of us down and let us know, in no uncertain terms, where we had failed.

Why the Spanish department head is one of my heroes

I’ll call you LV because I still remember the privacy keynote (despite my forgetting who gave it) at U of O. I had a few classes with you and you were helpful, kind and understanding. Patient, not condescending even though a gringo like me is never perfect at the, “Erree.” The older I get, the more I appreciate the class about Don Quixote. Finishing college for me was a singular event; none of my family has managed to follow through as I did. When you gave the graduation speech in 1999 to the group; I didn’t appreciate it enough.

If you’re still there, if you are open, I have a few suggestions. First and foremost, be patient with students like me who might take a decade plus to realize your awesomeness. Second is that I never followed through on the MBA program you wrote a letter of recommendation for; don’t feel like I let you down, because I owe you and the economics prof above so much. Instead, just in case other people, like me, don’t follow through on applying to grad school…give them permission to read the letter. I never did, and I’ve been wondering what you said for over 13 years.

Thank you both for everything. For me, personally, it’s taken a long time to realize the value of an awesome teacher. Going forward, I will try my best to be a better student.