Connections – Episode 20

In a conversation she had with her professor, Jodie had asked him why he had never been recognized by the university for his efforts. He had said something that Jodie didn’t appreciate at the time. He said that sighs of relief were the only reward he sought. When she read the next memory, she began to understand.

I remember in your freshman class you said that you came into your office at 6AM, and that if we ever were facing a crisis come see you then. I thought to myself that would have to be some crisis. Little did I know three years later, I would be waiting outside of your office door when you arrived.

You asked me what was wrong. For the next 10 minutes, you just listened as I tearfully told you my situation. I found out that I was pregnant. I was due to deliver early in the spring semester. I wanted to keep the baby, but I had already accepted a job. I needed to graduate in the spring.

When you asked me what the baby’s father thought, I told you I hadn’t told him nor did I want to be involved with him. I also told you that you were the first one to know that I was going to have a baby.

I’ll never forget your response. In a very calm voice you said: “Ok, here’s what we’ll do.” You gave me a plan for how I could still graduate on time. That plan included course accommodations, a note-taking team, and other support I would need.

Thankfully my mother was very supportive. She agreed to live with me once the baby was born. When we discussed my desire to breastfeed, you made your office available to me as a lactation room while you were in class. You even had the college pay for a lactation pump.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan until I had preeclampsia. I don’t remember much about this time, but my mother told me how you managed all of my academic accommodations and checked on me every day.

My beautiful daughter was born in the spring. I now have two more children, and my husband has adopted my daughter. What you taught me during my pregnancy is something that I’ve tried to use throughout my career: the greatest gift you can give someone is being there.

Lindsey – Class of 2012

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