My major in college was English. I had a professor, Dr. B., who was the most warm, funny, engaging man. Dr. B. was not only the professor that I would end up taking most of my classes from, he would also end up serving as my advisor. We would we discuss the Bible as literature; he would teach me to not only understand Middle English (to a certain degree), but to also recite The Canterbury Tales in Middle English; and we would read and discuss Beowulf and the Romantic poets.
A lecture featuring Dr. B. was always an adventure. He could alternately be loud and strident, or merely the facilitator of a gentle discussion. He had the habit of pacing the classroom during moments of spirited debate, all the while, polishing his glasses on his tie. He would often perch atop his desk during lectures, and would be so involved into whatever topic we were discussing that he would go to plunk down on the desk, and would completely miss the entire desk. He had frazzled hair that stuck out every which way from running his fingers through it in an absent minded haze. His clothes were perpetually rumpled, and his office was piled knee-high with books, ledgers, and journals.
Dr. B. helped me hold myself together after the rape. He counseled me like a father would, treating me gently, but also keeping in mind my best interests. He was kind, something I greatly needed at that point in time. He told me to take all the time I needed to get myself together, and to call on him for anything I needed, day or night. Dr. B. was a center of calm in my turbulent world then. I learned academics from him, but also so much more. He was a great man, and a great teacher. I'm not only proud to have been his student, but also just to have known him.
Dr. B. died a few years ago. I learned of his death long after the fact. I wished that I had known at the time so I could let his family know how much he touched me, and how pivotal a person he was for me. I still think of him often, and wish that I could somehow let him know how much he meant to me. A whole generation of students who weren't fortunate enough to have had him for classes will never know their loss. I hope all students can find their own Dr. B.
** Blogger would not let me upload the Monday Memories pic, so I'll try again later. :)