Influential IntellectThis past year, I was inspired by a professor whose course I stumbled upon. I took the class out of interest, rather than as a requirement. Early on, I discovered how absolutely brilliant she was--both intellectually and comically. She had so much knowledge, it was dumbfounding. What made her particularly striking, however, was her unbelievable humility and care for her students. I have never seen a professor give so much without a single complaint. Her attitude and actions motivated me, made me push myself harder, and made me love her as an educator.
On many occasions I tried to get some sort of emotional response from her--something that would indicate how she felt about me as a student. Did she notice my hard work and dedication in her class? Did she like me or appreciate my efforts? Unfortunately, no matter how much I tried, she remained stoic.
It wasn't until graduation day I finally received the response I had so longed to hear. I invited her to the ceremony, but wasn't quite sure if she would go. Afterwards, I wandered around campus hoping to see her. I had no such luck. When the day's festivities had come to a close and I had finally come home for the night, I briefly checked my email and noticed a message from her in my inbox. It was titled "happy graduation!" and I curiously opened the email, where she humorously congratulated me on my graduation. As I got to the end, her closing sentence hit me unbelievably hard: "Keep in touch and let me know what great things you go on to do." A tear rolled down my cheek as I read the line over and over again. All this time, she had noticed how much I cared--she liked me and she was proud.
I can't exactly say why this simple sentence affected me so deeply. Perhaps it's because I was constantly seeking her approval that she so stubbornly kept hidden. Perhaps it's because she motivated me like no one has before. Perhaps it's because she did it all without even trying.
I hope I can one day live up to her expectations because I will never ever forget this professor.