47

1 May

Last Monday, I returned to Ogle-land to see and hear Dr. Weiss deliver the traditional Last Lecture of the year, which also happened to fall upon the year of her retirement.  Now, Dr. Weiss was the very first professor I met when I set foot on campus all those years ago.  I was a scared, sheltered girl, not really sure why she had chosen something so new when she was just fine where she was.  I’d walked into the student center, and subsequently stopped, lost and bewildered, when this tiny woman came around the corner.  She instantly took me under her wing, showing me where to go, what to do, and even letting me sit with her at lunch.  I later took Chaucer, where I learned to speak and read Middle English, and discovered that certain energy that Dr. Weiss brings to her classes.  She is passionate, excited about her subject, literally jumping up and down and times as though her words can’t be contained.

Such is the spirit I got to behold once more on Monday.  As I settled into the red fabric chair I felt myself settling back into the familiar role of student, reverting two and a half years to a role I thought I’d left behind.  It’s funny how easily the past comes back, even when you think you’re so far away from the person that you were.  I felt at home, however, really, really, really at home…like slipping on a nice pair of broken-in jeans, fresh from the drier.  And as Dr. Weiss began to speak, I was pleasantly reminded of days long gone, sitting in class on the top floor of the library, pen and paper in hand, books opened before me, quietly listening, trying to absorb everything.  Seems a lifetime ago.

I later ran into another beloved professor that night, too.  Dr. Taylor (whom I believe I’ve written about before) spent many hours with me, both in class and office hours, helping me mold my writing into something worth reading.  I was good before I took her class; I was amazing when I left Oglethorpe.  Her favorite pastime was to drag me, metaphorically kicking and screaming, into writing what she knew I would be good at.  In a way, all my Ogle-professors took turns, each pulling me along, trying to mold me into the kind of writer they knew I could be.  And now that I’ve long left the hallowed halls, the responsibility lies in my hands.  It is my duty to make them proud, to make something of myself and my writing, because they believed in me.  I can’t let them down.

I hope I can one day pay these wonderful professors back for everything they’ve given me.  The lessons they taught me, I take with me wherever I go.  They are amazing people, both personally and professionally, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to learn from them.

Dr. Weiss…Dr. Taylor…Dr. Brightman…Dr. Shrikhande…they’ve given me everything I need.  And so much more.

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One Response to “47”

  1. Susan May 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Oh, so very well said!!!

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