Just Like Dead Poets Society, Only Not

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a proposal that has required me to do some research and basically reacquaint myself with a subject that I haven’t studied in about fifteen years.

(Was the information in that paragraph vague enough for you? Good! More vaguery to come!)

And last week, when I started to worry that I was missing huge, critical chunks of information, I thought about one of my college professors who is an expert in the field I’ve been researching. In a fit of spontanaiety, I decided to email her. Because technology, it is oftentimes quite handy.

So I emailed my former professor, Dr. H, and told her what I was working on. I asked her for some input, thanked her for pouring into the life of a crazy college student (THAT WOULD BE ME) way back in the day and basically gave her a summary of what I’ve been up to since the last time we talked.


Not to mention my ongoing hobby of making former professors twitch when they see the excessive use of sentence fragments on my blog.

A few days later I found a very gracious reply from Dr. H in my inbox, and I was a little surprised by how thrilled I was to hear from her. Dr. H was one of my favorite teachers because she not only knew her stuff – she also knew how to communicate information in a way that made it easy to remember. I took five different courses from her in undergraduate and graduate school, and I really did learn in each one of them.

Dr. H also had a huge impact on my writing, especially when I was a freshman and she very kindly pointed out my tendency to end pretty much every other sentence with “etc.”

For example: “Southern architecture also serves as symbolism in the works of Welty, Faulkner, etc.”

Or: “Plath’s poem Daddy features a narrator with a deep well of bitterness toward an absent father she perceives be cold, cruel, etc.”

If memory serves, the overuse of “etc.” was my eighteen year-old way of trying to cover up for the fact that I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. So I just held onto the hope that maybe if I tacked an “etc.” on the end of my sentences, my professors WOULD NEVER CATCH ON TO THE FACT THAT I HAD NO MORE INFORMATION TO SHARE.

Oh, I was very crafty.

(Now is when I could tell you about the time I played the role of bathrobe-wearing, chain-smoking Martha in Who’s Afraid of Viriginia Woolf for Dr. H’s Modern Drama class – and for my costume I opted to wear a plaid skirt with a matching sweater and THERE WAS EVEN PLAID ON THE SWEATER, Y’ALL because obviously I was all about KEEPIN’ IT REAL with my ACT-ING.)

(But I won’t be telling you about any of that because it would be far too embarrassing.)

As it turns out, Dr. H is retiring this spring. And as she looks back on her career and reflects on her legacy, I hope she knows what a difference she made in the life of a wide-eyed sorority girl who sported some mighty large acrylic hairbows back in the early 1990’s. There’s no question that I was just a middle-of-the-pack student – albeit one with some misguided delusions of intelligence – but Dr. H made me better. She really and truly cared about making her students better.

Thanks for everything, Dr. H.

And I wonder: are there teachers who had – or who continue to have – a major influence in your life?

Tell me all about ’em. Because I’m feeling sort of nostalgic.

(I may even break out a hair bow.)

(But I draw the line at wearing any sort of matching plaid ensemble.)

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  1. Okay, who is Dr. H? The suspense is killing me, although I don’t really know why. Chances are I probably didn’t have her as a professor, seeing that I spent my days in the science labs, ETC. I’m just wondering, did she have a daughter who was in your sorority and a husband who was a music professor?

  2. I had a wonderful, fabulous 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Skank.

    She was kind, firm and gave me the desire to help others. I wish I knew what happened to her because I wanted to tell her that it was the middle finger incident that she resolved that made me want to be a teacher.

    I hope to accomplish that goal, sooner, rather than later.

    Go teach!

  3. I may not remember much from my classes or which teachers I liked….but I do remember getting up early to hot roll my hair and smack a big ol’ bow up in it. Every single morning. I was kind of sad when I realized I was too old for them. And I felt a bit lost! Like, HOW am I supposed to wear my hair now, huh?

  4. You are certainly bringing back some memories. My sisters and I got together this weekend and they reminded me of a couple successes I had in school. I had completely forgotten about them.

    And PS, I love the way you write. It makes me happy. And that really should be your goal, yes?

  5. Oh, I have a Dr. H! Actually, she’s a Dr. M. But I adore her, to this day, and I actually just got a letter from her a couple of weeks ago. One of the biggest thrills of my whole life, I think.

  6. Oh so many!

    Most notably my eighth grade French teacher. If not for her I would not have my deep and abiding love for other cultures.

    And a theology prof I had in college who so profoundly affected everything about how I see God.

  7. I had two journalism professors who (1) taught me how to write and then to edit myself and (2) taught me that liver and onions isn’t half bad. Lesson (1) has actually turned out to be a bit more practical.

  8. I had two awesome middle school science teachers–Ms. Borland and Ms. Alread. They not only made class fun and exciting but were so interested in our personal lives as well. They are both HUGE reasons why I’m a middle school teacher now.

  9. I went to a small Christian high school and I had the same teacher for history, English, and even some math from 6th grade through 12th. She also coached volleball, cheerleading, and softball (I did all 3). Mrs. B made every subject – including Algebra fun and interesting. I babysat for her kids and she made me breakfast on my birthdays before school in the morning. She was a huge positive influence on my life.

  10. Wow–so many! My Constitutional Law prof Dr. King. We’re still in contact, and she even sent me gifts when my daughters were born! She’s my idol…a legal genius–well, a genius in every respect, really–and she really cares about her students.

    Also, I had a post-grad French prof who was actually from France. I LOVED her!

    In high school, it was Mr. Scattergood, my AP English teacher for 3 years. He wore suede saddle shoes in all different colors to match his preppy wardrobe, and he did cool stuff like let us sit in a circle on the floor with the lights out and candles burning when we read poetry, and he also tap danced on his desk to get our attention. I really miss him!

  11. I sent a fan letter to my favorite professor a few years after I graduated when I remembered something he had taught us and actually applied it in real life, and he really appreciated my note of thanks and said it made his day.

  12. I was just missing those hairbows the other day, because wearing a black one made my dark, straight, ultra fine hair look much thicker than it really was. Especially when I used to do my hair just like the chicks on the Robert Palmer video, “Oooone Track Miiiind”, and wore glossy red lipstick to complete the look.

    Yes, during college, that was my ‘two-minute’ hairdo. I was the epitome of cool. I think.

  13. Okay… so the teacher who has had the most profound effect on my life is Mrs. Ada Jones. She was the teacher who visited me two to three times a week during the second semester of my senior year in high school while I was a homebound, pregnant teenager/new mother. She even went to bat for me and fought to have the high school leave me on the homebound program stating there was no way I could keep up with the classroom having dropped out the first semester and coming back in the second semester to finish the 3 1/2 credits I needed to graduate.

    My son, the one I wrote about before, was born the week of Spring Break my senior year and I was ready to quit school and be serious about being a mom when I returned to classwork the next week. She cancelled all of my work that day and took me to the high school dean of girls and they both convinced me to finish high school that day.

    Next to her was Mrs. Reid – a young and sassy Literature teacher who never had me in her class but she was reputably the toughest English teacher at our school – when I went in to inquire about whether or not I would be passing so I could graduate she replied, “You have no grade below an 88 and you write beautifully.” This was a shock to me because I – well, I had this nasty habit of trying to soak up as much information through osmosis in the classroom and then skimming the material to develop a vague enough idea of the premise to pass a test. It was my way – so if the assignment was write a three page essay on conflict from the story of Beowulf, I would skim the story and find all the conflict and basically fill it in with the all the words I could think of… Okay, so there it is I basically faked it and did well. It was her statement that to this day encourages me to write. If I could do that without knowing what I was talking about imagine what a studied up version of me could do! Just imagine! Thanks for asking and sharing! God’s blessing to you.

  14. Oh, and BTW, I would have referred to you as a Bow-head in college. I once wore long-johns under a pair of baggy shorts with my plaid, but I decided I wasn’t THAT grungey.

  15. My advanced creative writing professor, Dr. W, continues to inspire me still. I was so young when she mentioned to the class that she didn’t even begin the pursuit of her degree until her own children were in school. At the time, I thought, “Oh, that’s nice,” but little more.

    Now, a million years later, my own children are in school and I’m working to complete that degree begun so long ago. When I feel silly, when I feel like my time is being wasted and is far better spent folding laundry, I remember Dr. W and the many ways she changed my life.

  16. Well, I’m pretty fond of my 1st and 2nd grade teacher (same person – small Christian school) since she is now my stepmom & “Go-Go” to my girls!

  17. My husband and I were just talking about this, as he was asked to put down his favorite teacher for his upcoming class reunion registration (for the book they pass out).

    We were talking about how some of the teachers that we didn’t particularly care for at the time were, in hindsight, the best teachers. Not all the time, but sometimes.

  18. Like I told you on the phone, I feel certain that none of my college professors would remember me. Mainly, because I wasn’t so diligent about actually attending class.

    Money well spent.

    However, Mrs. Freeman, my high school English teacher, had a profound influence because she demanded more than my standards of mediocrity.

  19. I’m graduating from college with my B.A. in the spring. We have a small department, and the four main professors have really, really invested in me. Dr. R and Dr. L have been incredible mentors for me. It helps that I have worked for them, so I see them every day. They are more than teachers to me (although they are excellent teachers); they are employers, mentors, colleagues, and friends. I value their friendship so much, and I’m a little nervous about leaving such close relationships for grad school in the fall. I know that the professors who I wll be joining for the grad program will aslo invest in me, but I also know that they will never be able to replace the wonderful relationships that I have had thus far. I would not be the person that I am without the love and support these professors have poured out on me for four years. (Okay, now I’m about to cry!!!) Graduation is going to be really hard, lol!

  20. I’m lookin’ her up now, actually. She escorted a group of us to Wales where we student taught. She and her husband and her two little girls lived in the dorms and mentored us for half a semester in a foreign country. She was always gracious and kind and generous.

  21. Ugh. Yes, Mr.Wood was my grade five teacher. He was sooooo horribly mean. That year was life-changing for me. I was a quiet and sweet girl and I turned into a disrespecting anxiety-ridden girl, and Mr.Wood had a lot to do with it. Sad story, sorry. I’ve had many great teachers as well.

  22. Does it count if it was my hubby’s seminary professor? Our families became great friends and he is hands down the most brilliant theologian I know. He loves God so much he isn’t satisfied with anything less than delving into the jot and tittle of every last word in the Word. He makes me want to love Him with that kind of energy.

    Not to mention it’s handy to have a complete Jesus Genius in your buddy list when you are writing a bible study and need a little consult.

  23. OK…I may be cheating because I went back to an old blog entry I wrote about one of my favorite teachers and pasted it below, but I had to share. Strangely enough, after I wrote this, said professor sent me an e-mail saying he read it on my blog…YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS READING YOUR BLOG…thanks for the reminiscing…

    My sophomore year at Lipscomb, Dr. Gerald Moore (a.k.a. the Gentle Giant) asked me to be in a musical group called the Early Music Consort. I knew very little about Early Music, but I adored Dr. Moore because he had patiently taught my Theory and Sight-Singing classes. Taking part in EMC is one of the most enriching musical experiences I have ever had. Every semester we would receive a black notebook full of songs from countries all over the world. We would sing a song written in Portuguese that sounded regal and prominent only to find out that it was about a cockroach crawling across a bowl. Dr. Moore also seemed to delight in varying combinations of voices and instruments. On the first verse of a song the ladies might sing accompanied by a triangle, a tenor recorder, and the hurdy-gurdy. Then the second time would be two men, maracas, and a trombone with the finale being two singers, three people clapping, one whistling through his nose, a bass drum, the harpsicord, and the glockenspiel. You never knew what to expect or when Dr. Moore might hand you some strange instrument made from a gourd and a goat’s tail to play on the third verse. Dr Moore is a musical genius who can make practicing monastic drones intriguing, but more than that, he is a gentle and humble spirit who embodies the love of Christ. Because of that, hundreds of former students came together this Saturday to practice and perform with him and celebrate his retirement. I feel blessed that I was able to be a part of it.

  24. Ms. Diane H! She made me LOVE history and Blue Books. I HATE writing and taking tests, but she showed me there was more than one to teach a student and made me understand I AM gifted in my own special way. (SMILE)

    She won teacher of the year one year and was on Oprah. I was so proud.

  25. You know, I’ve got a couple of scarves upstairs that would make some huge, fluffy hairbows to remind me of my own sorority days.

    There are several teachers I fondly remember, like my 6th grade English teacher, Mr. Cates, who acted out our “how-to” papers, turning them into comedy sketches. I was never prouder than when he actually tied his shoe based on the instructions in my paper. Who knew it would lead to a career in technical writing?

  26. Allison Massie says:

    I was something of a teacher’s pet. There were a few that rocked my world, and a few I kept up with until well after graduation. Mr. Hintze, Dr. Horan, Mrs. Weiss, and Ms. Etling. They made me a better person. They educated me in the fundamentals but more than that they encouraged who and what I was. They saw through the mask to the terrified little girl. And they loved her, right where she was. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for those people that God inserted so instrumentally in my life all those years ago.

  27. I have several teacher-favorites:

    – My first grade teacher (I went to a private Catholic school in grade school). Most of the other teachers were nuns except Mrs. Meyer. She then transferred to 4th grade, so I had her again. Then she became principal after I left. Scandalous to have a non-nun as principal, but she was so dedicated to the kids.

    – I had a math teacher for two years in high school (trig, analytic geometry, and calculus), Mrs. Hildebrand. She came in early and stayed late every day to help students. She had an operation for breast cancer and had a 6″ platform built so she could get back in the classroom and reach the top of the board. She was the reason I considered becoming a teacher — except I knew I could never be as good as her.

    – I had an engineering prof for at least four classes during my EE degree, Dr. Cardwell. Toughest prof in the department, but the best. He used to lecture for a while, then tell us there was a mistake 10 minutes back and make us find it. Maddening, but effective — we were all on our toes all the time.

  28. My English Teacher Coach Jones. He was hard, brutally honest, but taught me so much. I miss him so!

    **For those looking for a custom blog design, head on over to my giveaway.

  29. My husband makes fun of me all the time for keeping in touch with a few professors from college (and even three from highschool)

    I’m guessing from your “Ode to the early 90’s” that I am in your collegiage timeframe… So- do you still have the dream that you are on your campus, trying to get into your mailbox???? (And are your husband/children living in your college apartment?)

    And so- Penny Hauben (8th grade) JoAnn Sachs (10th grade) Phyllis Rubin (12th grade) Sra. Nieves (freshman/sophomore) Kay Witt (Senior Year) and Anita Voelker (whom I never had but became friends with anyway)…. thanks for impacting my life at different stages to make me a better ME today and I hope you’re all still getting our Christmas Cards. :0)

  30. Mrs. Diers. She was a high school teacher, but made a profound impact on my life. She was the first teacher to really take an interest in me and was honest. I was a typical wayward high school kid and she helped me grow up. At one point she told me “I was the most defensive person she had ever met”. Being such a defensive person, I didn’t take the criticism well, but I later realized how right she was and it helped shape who I am.

  31. Hello!
    My name is Jodie Wolfe. I am in the process of researching for a book I would like to write that addresses ten struggles that Christian women face. I would love to have your input as well. You can respond via email or my blog: http://diggingforpearls@blogspot.com

    Thank you for any help you can give me. All I need is the list of ten things as well as your age.

    God bless,

  32. Heidi Gunter at Cottage Grove High School in Oregon. Heidi was a new, young teacher, willing to break the rules. She taught me to LOVE reading…by secretly bringing me VC Andrews smut.

  33. My favorite teacher was Mrs. G, my art teacher. I grew up in a small town and attended a very small parochial school. Imagine my suprise when YEARS later, in a whole nother town at a whole nother school (a public one at that) – Mrs. G ends up being my boys’ art teacher!! It was a huge God story – we’d moved and I was very nervous about the school, questioning our decision to enroll our son in public school… seeing Mrs. G there was SO reassuring!

    I realized too, of course, that it was moment to be preserved – here’s the post: http://tinavega.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-favorite-teacher.html

  34. Mrs. Denton!! She was one of my best friends in High School, and still is today. She totally got me through some pretty rough times!
    I KNOW I would not be the same without her!!

  35. OMG!! i was a bowhead too. do you think it’s a subliminal chi omega thing? we were very picky about our bows though–they had to be JUST RIGHT.

    and that pickiness hasn’t gone away–my ultra tomboy girl is a bowhead with JUST RIGHT bows now. she can rock a hairbow.

    the legacy lives on…

  36. My second grade teacher Mrs. Burns was the one who started my LOVE for reading. She was known as one of the meanest teachers in the school, but I loved her and still do! We still chat regularly and she was at my wedding showers and just recently at my baby shower. She gave me the sweetest note in a book about teaching my child to love words and life. :) Who would have thought she would be giving my baby books after all these years!

  37. Going way back in time, I had 2 fourth grade teachers (I moved in the middle of the year) who were very influential. I can’t remember one’s name, but the other one was Ms. Slack. I remember what the other one looked like, but not her name for the life of me. I had Mrs. Myers in 5th grade who loved math, and she was influential as well. My 9th & 10th grade choir teacher, was amazing and gave me a lot of confidence in music. I had a fantastic chemistry teacher in 11th grade, and Coach was an amazing lit teacher in 12th. I still keep in touch with Coach every now and again, even though he retired. College was less inspiring, although I remember most of my profs from my freshman year. My English profs were definitely incredible, and although I didn’t major in English (as I once thought about doing), I did marry an English major!

  38. Dr. Laurel Bollinger at the University of Alabama in Huntsville was my absolute favorite professor. It was during the mid-nineties, and truthfully, I have no idea where she is now. (Isn’t that sad?) I would try to arrange my schedule to be in her classes.

    I can’t say that college in general spoke to me! But she definately did.

  39. I have been blessed to have many, many teachers and professors through the years that have touched me and helped me be better.

    The one that leaps immediately to mind was Mr. Z, who not only opened up his classroom every lunchtime to those of us unwilling to brave the cafeteria, but engaged us in long discussions that really challenged the way we thought. most importantly for me though, was the day he took me aside because he found out I wasn’t applying to university because I couldn’t afford the application fees. My plan was to work for a year and then apply. He simply said “Don’t. I’ve seen too many intelligent girls take a year off and never make it.” He then handed me the money and I filled out my application right then. That one small moment changed the course of my entire life.

  40. Butterbean says:

    As a teacher, I LOVE this post! You rock. 2 of my jr high teachers (who married after my 7th grade yr) are so dear to me. She was my supervisor during student teaching & he was later my principal! Another fave? Mrs. West. I took Pre-Calculus and Calculus from her. She adored my older brother. As a pleaser, I was worried she wouldn’t like me when I dropped Calc sr. year. She was awesome! She lived on a farm with her elderly mother. She had shared a wonderful recipe for red velvet cake with me. A few weeks after I dropped, she stopped me in the hall to tell me that she named her new calf after me b/c it reminded her of a red velvet cake…red with white socks! =)

  41. Oh my, this is easy. I loved 6th grade teacher, Mr. Briscoe. First off, let me say I thought he was soooo gorgeous (he had really dark sideburns and jet black hair – yep, you guessed it, just like Elvis), and what upstanding 12 year old girl on the brink of puberty wouldn’t love an Elvis look-a-like, back in the day….. sorry, I got lost in the moment.

    ANYWAY, I remember that he always had his guitar in the classroom, and he would play songs for us, for example, instead of “giving” us our spelling test he would “sing” us our spelling test. If things were getting out of control in the classroom with all the talking and such, he would pull out his guitar and bust out a tune. I looked forward to school everyday.

    And also, just for the record, I wrote all over my notebooks “Mrs. Johna Briscoe” in little bubble hearts and such. Those were the days!

  42. You NEVER cease to make me laugh!
    As for teachers, I had my favorites (didn’t we all?) but the ones that really impacted me were probably the ones that were hardest on me.

    The first one that came to my mind, though, was an art teacher I had in High School She showed me that it was cool to be creative. It was okay to WANT to be creative. It was MORE than okay to want to WANT to be creative. She taught me cereamics, crochet, jewelry making, silk screening, etc. (I had to, sorry!)

    So Thanks Mrs. U from THS! You’re the best.

  43. There’s a lot of wonderful teachers out there. In high school, I was blessed enough to have two creative, dedicated teachers with PhDs who were still in the classroom.

    Dr. B taught English and threw in lots of practical, immediately useful stuff, too (we played quiz games with the Barron’s SAT guides, folks!). He cared enough about my potential to tell me that my A was harder than everyone else’s, so I’d quit skating by on minimal effort. Did that make me furious at the time? Without question. Does it make me respect him immensely now? Absolutely.

    Dr. M taught AP Biology. She was warm and friendly and really cared about each of us. We had a beautiful stream on campus and she let us take our lunches down there as part of our ‘labs’. I loved her so much I called her Mom M. And thought for awhile I’d be a biology major, just because her class was so fun.

    I don’t know that I would be the same person that I am without the impact of those two teachers. What a blessing!

  44. I loved, loved, loved my 6th grade teacher. She was so creative and allowed me to actually write a story about a how a pizza and a typewriter fell in love and ran away to get married! Now doesn’t that sound exciting! Seriously, I honestly can’t remember what all it was about Mrs. Tabb that I loved, but she was always one of my favorite teachers and when I got married 17 1/2 years ago she saw the announcement in the paper and sent me a card. I was SO excited to get that card. It was probably my favorite of all I received!!!

  45. You have a Dr. H and I have a Dr. Walch. My favorite professor in undergrad… brilliant, funny and kind. She was passionate about public relations and in turn made me too!

  46. Mine would have to be my 1st grade teacher. Mrs. Stone. She was a grandmotherly sort and actually led me to the Lord. I remember very little about the classroom, but definitely remember sitting with her on the playground while she helped me ask Jesus into my heart.

  47. A second grade teacher who recognized each kid’s need to feel special.

    A high school English teacher who pushed me really hard.

    A psych professor in college who was just a weird as I am.

  48. I would like to interject that having known BooMama for more than 20 years now, she was, is and always shall be far from “just a middle-of-the-pack student.”

    Girl, please.

  49. Mrs. Perry taught 10th grade AP European history. I remember her telling us all the crazy rumors about historic figures. It was like People magazine for monarchs of the 18th century. I was hooked and majored in history in college.
    Then there was Professor Gerberding, who bullied me into taking his Latin class. He was nice to my boyfriend (later my hubby), so I went along with it. I have never loved and loathed something at the same time like that Latin class. He ended up being one of the groomsmen in our wedding. He lives in a really cool castle and continues to harass his students to this day.

  50. My mentor in undergrad/grad school was Dr. Brown. I still send him a Christmas card every year and I still think of him (and how appalled he would be) when I write.

    It took me until college to find a phenomenal instructor that brought out my best, but when I found him, he was amazing.

  51. I had a great professor for my marketing class. It was such an enjoyable class. He once lectured for two hours on the marketing of Spam and made it interesting. He also did a class on the movie Last of the Mohicans and asked some of the foreign students to talk about marketing in their home countries.

    I also had an English professor who actually helped me improve my writing instead of just telling me it stunk.

  52. I had lots of teachers who made an impact on my life, mainly because I loved to learn.

    Dr. G taught me the fine art of loving music for its shear being. Oh and he taught me that Chorus trips on a bus for weeks at a time are a great way to wail in Spades!

    Dr. H (not yours though) taught me that music can inspire and cultivate a person for more than an hour. The Weekend with Wagner still emotes such a love for his music. We literally took a weekend (about 20 students) and listened to Wagner’s The Ring, only breaking for a few hours sleep. It was magical and inspiring to say the least.

    Back in HS, it was Ms. T who started this whole love of music deal. That and she really knew how to encourage a pest (me) into going after whatever it was that I wanted to do.

    And finally, Mrs. W refused to accept mediocre work from me. She knew better and pushed me to become better at my understanding the written word and my writing compositions, thus helping to cultivate my love for reading and writing about it as well.

    So basically, y’all can blame her for my posts.

  53. Oh, and on the flip side, I forever will have a dislike for Mrs. C, my 6th grade teacher. She was meanness in heels. I hated her so much that for Christmas one year, I gave her one of those huge Hershey kisses, knowing that she would not be able to resist the call of chocolate – the one thing to which she was allergic.

    Good times that year. Good times. I was one person who couldn’t wait to start Jr. High for the joy of leaving that woman’s classroom for good.

  54. Butterbean says:

    Oh no! I almost forgot to mention 2 very important teachers. I moved to GA from VA in 1st grade. My 1st grade teacher was mean. My 2nd grade teacher was like Snow White – always kind and happy! She moved away a few years later. To this day, “Miss Roy” and I still exchange Christmas cards.

    At UGA, one of my profs blew out her knee. Since I was an athletic trainer, she gave the surgeon permission for me to observe her surgery IN THE OR! It was very cool. Props to Dr. Gaunt!

  55. I had Dr. Evers. I think I took all of the PR/Journalism classes she taught. In either the 2nd or 3rd class I took from her, I ended up with tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert in Dallas on a Thursday night. There was no way I’d make it back for her class on Friday morning, so I went to talk to her about it to see if I could miss class. She said she didn’t care, as long as I wrote a review of the concert for our paper, and that I had to bring her back a t-shirt.

    She was awesome, and I still see her occasionally and we talk politics and basketball. She’s being inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame on Friday, and I’m going to the lunch.

  56. Rachelle Page-Wood says:

    I had a few fabulous teachers who shaped my life and my career as I became a teacher.

    They were amazing not because they knew their subject matter, although they certainly did, but they were amazing because they cared and it was so evident. They gave of themselves when they were not required to do so and I will always be grateful.

  57. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Mozingo, changed my outlook on school. Her love of reading was so contagious that I caught it then and still have a bad case of it now. I wrote about her a few months ago and I would love the chance to tell her how much she has meant to me.


  58. I got excited until I saw she was retiring. I wanted to see if I could get my daughter hooked up with her but she’s also obviously not in the science/biology dept at State. My poor daughter has a plethora (!!) of professors who, you know the type, are more proud of their personal status and grand-ness than teaching anything to a classroom full of students. Sadly, this is too accurate.

  59. Oh how I longed to wear a big bow on a low ponytail. That was the look. But alas, I could never get my hair quite long enough for it.

    Mrs. Henson was my high school trig teacher. She saw that I was indeed good at math and basically tutored me separately from the rest of the class so that I could work ahead and be more prepared for college. Since our high school was very small, upper level math classes weren’t available. Mrs. Henson rocked. Plus she came to my mom’s funeral – 16 years after I graduated from high school and about 10 years after my mom quite being a sub. What a gem.

  60. I had a professor in Nursing Management who was very good, very professional, gray but beautiful hair in a bun, Coach briefcase, very put together… I admired her and enjoyed her teaching style but hated the content of the class. I really hated it the second time I had to take it!!! (the first time the class was sched. right after lunch and on the same day a group of us met for lunch/margarita’s) The second time, thanks to a morning class it was quite easy. After going into a management position at a major hospital, I was helping with a professional event we were having and she was in the group I was in charge of. I think she was a little alarmed that I really was in management but after the second day, when I addressed her as Dr.M, she insisted I call her by her first name now…Then I realized I was a professional in her eyes. Weird, but good…

  61. Prof in college? Really, I didn’t have a stand-out prof there–a lot of good classes and good times, but nothing notable. However, it was very cool to watch the Bethlehem’s Star with our church home group and find that an A&M prof I had did this research to uncover what may have been THE star–Rick Larsen. Very cool!

    In high school, I had a marvelous English teacher in 10th and 12th grade. We still keep in touch! Her name is Ms. Zwahlen. :) Great teacher and great thinker! I am so thankful to have her as a friend.

  62. Ha! My students at the Univ of Nouakchott definitely took a page from your book (connected metaphors = extra credit) when it came to the overabundant use of etc. Only they all went to high school in French or Arabic, so they went even further and used it in mid-sentence, and at the end. Sigh. Fun days.

    I had the most awesome grammar teacher in 8th grade. Thanks to her, I tested out of every single grammar class after that (high school and college) and grew up to become an editor, not to mention the annoying sort of person who leans over to whisper in her son’s ear, DURING WORSHIP, that there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in heavens as in “Your love is higher than the heaven’s.” And who almost can’t worship because it bugs her so much. So maybe I shouldn’t be thanking Miss Gaupp, who obviously scarred me for life.

  63. Mrs.Kirtley- 4th grade. She was everything a teacher ought to be and she had a huge influence on the fact that I’m a writer today. I only wish I could find her. I’ve tried, but haven’t been able to locate her. I’d just like to thank her.

  64. i’ve a couple who at different times and for different reasons made a big impact on my life. miss russo in 7th and 8th grade was by far the coolest teacher i had ever had. i wanted to be just like her when i grew up and she really taught me to not only respect grammar but LOVE literature. i had always loved to read. but she taught me to appreciate what i was reading. in highschool, i had some great teachers but mr. gardner was by far the toughest and i was determined to meet that challenge. i did. the summer after i graduated from college and moved back home, he was the one who hired me to teach the very subject he had taught me. 2 years later i even assumed his ap class when he retired. in college, i loved almost everyone of my professors. almost. dr. k and dr. s in english, dr. l in history, dr. b in education were all by far the ones i remember the most clearly though and if i were to write thank yous it would be to them. if for nothign else but the awesome experiences i had in their classrooms.

  65. You just motivated me to write an email to a former math teacher I had in high school (over 20 years ago!) He was my favorite teacher ever and I just dropped him a quick line to thank him. I was shocked that he was still at my old high school!

  66. In high school, I had the opportunity to study a different kind of foreign language – Latin. My teacher was amazing. Mrs. Tucker was everything I wanted to be. In fact, I teach Latin today because of the love she planted in my heart all those years ago. I have had the pleasure of teaching in the same district with her, and even took over her job when she moved to Texas. I lost touch with her for a while, but have found her again. She is no longer Mrs. Tucker, now she is just Joan. I have told her time and again what her influence has meant in my life. I hope that someday I might have an impact on one of my students in that same way.

  67. I made all of my dresses when I first started teaching school in the early 90’s and had a matching bow with each.

    I was PRIH-tee fancy.

  68. Mrs Keithly…she was my 4th grade math teacher. Every day after recess she’d make us sit at our desks, quiet as can be, and then she’d read to us (yes, our math teacher read to us)! I still remember her rich voice reading “Island of the Blue Dolphins”. I believe she was instrumental in encouraging my love of reading!

    Speaking of books, my April Pay It Forward book giveaway is going on right now. Stop by if you want a chance to win a free book…or two…or three. :)

  69. I’m glad you had your Dr. H! I had Dr. J, and I wrote about her here: http://tinyurl.com/2u5sxu

    She taught a class I didn’t want to take, but had to, and wouldn’t you know I wound up making that subject my major? Dr. J. captivated me, taught me so much about what it meant to be a good teacher – all without saying much of anything about it. She just demonstrated it with her life. She was the very first person I met on my first day of college, and almost twenty-one years later, she’s one of my closest friends and best sources of support. I just talked to her on the phone yesterday afternoon, as a matter of fact, and she’s still teaching me still encouraging me. The above URL gives a better picture of her, as well as a high school teacher who was just what I needed at the time.

  70. I’m glad you had a Dr. H.!

    I had some wonderful teachers in school, but not in university. I remember after I had a miscarriage in grad school, my thesis supervisor said, “thank goodness, because now you can concentrate on getting into a good Ph.D. program”.

    It seemed like all of them–with the exception of one great Christian prof–were really leftwing and anti-family. I can’t believe I even got married after all the indoctrination I got in college!

    Now I cringe when I wonder where my daughters will go. I hope they have a much better experience than I did, and maybe have as great a time as you obviously did!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!