As Jodie read the memories she continued to be amazed at the range of issues that her professor dealt with. What was especially interesting was how students were so willing to be open to him about their issues. This memory was an example.
It was several weeks into my first semester when I came to see you. I was embarrassed to speak with you, but I thought I must. I told you that my girlfriend from back in New Jersey had broken up with me when she found out I had a girlfriend on campus. Then my campus girlfriend broke up with me when she found out about the girlfriend back home.
I could tell that you were about to burst out laughing so I quickly told you about my real problem. I told you I was a recovering drug addict, and I was facing a real challenge to keep from using drugs again.
From that moment on you became my savior. You got me into a 12-step program. You connected me to an alum who had faced similar problems. She became my mentor.
I’ll never forget when I went home for Thanksgiving and had my wisdom teeth removed. The dentist wanted to give me a drug prescription for a pain killer. I said no. I had to call you and let you know. I just felt good that you would understand.
When the semester ended, I realized that I was not college material. You helped me think through my choices. You helped write a reference for me to go to a trade school to become a licensed electrician.
Now I own a thriving electrical business and have 32 employees. I’ve never wanted to do drugs again. You asked me to pay it forward so I’ve become a mentor for a number of young people with drug issues. I’m trying to do for them what you did for me.
Enclosed is our most recent family photo. My wife and I have 3 children. I hope that each of my kids will have you for a teacher. I’m so glad we’ve stayed connected over the years.
George – trade school class of 1998