Today during class, Dr. Martin expressed his sadness due to a friend passing away. As a class we discussed some negative events that have recently taken place and a classmate expressed her grief on how one bad thing keeps happening after the other. It caused me to reflect on the events in my life, and rather than be sad on the negative, I chose to be grateful for the positive.
One positive influence that I am grateful for is Dr. Martin. I am truly blessed to have had him as a professor for both the fall and spring semesters and can honestly say, he is one professor I will remember for the rest of my life.
While Dr. Martin taught me lessons from books and readings, he also taught important lessons about life. During the fall semester with Dr. Martin, I had struggled a little due to taking a year off of school. Dr. Martin, however, was completely understanding and helped me through difficult times. While his writing assignments continued to challenge me, I was still grateful for them because I could reflect on the improvements I made over the semester. When our class first discussed the major paper assignment, I was scared to say the least. Fortunately, Dr. Martin made dealing with that overwhelming assignment so much easier. I remember the night before I turned the paper in, I read my paper over and over and smiled because despite my fear, Dr. Martin knew I would excel when the time came. I smiled because it’s not everyday someone tells you they believe in you and truly means it; because he told me I could do it even when I didn’t believe I could do it; because on the third floor of the library, I could hear him say ‘I told you so’ without him even being in the room.
During the spring semester I felt comfort sitting in front of him again for Rhetoric and Professional Writing. While the title of class caused me panic, I knew I would be okay because Dr. Martin was there. While I hit many speed bumps during the semester, he worked with me and allowed me to fully exceed in the classroom. By continuing the blogging assignment, I feel I have become a much better writer, just over the course of a few months. Not only has the content of my blogs been better, but I find myself often applying his lessons to other classes. If that’s not effective teaching, I don’t know what is.
Dr. Martin allowed me to feel comfortable because I not only saw him as a professor but as a friend. While I spoke to Dr. Martin about problems I had with assignments, he also allowed me to explain how external forces from my personal life had effected me in the classroom. This is extremely uncommon for professors, in my opinion. Several of my professors this semester have more of a “your problem, is your problem” kind of attitude whereas Dr. Martin understood that student’s problems greatly impact their scholarly lives. It’s inevitable.
While returning on my spiritual path, it is no secret to me that God placed this professor in my life for a reason. If taking Bible as Literature with him wasn’t enough of a sign, being able to talk to him during the peak of my social anxiety clarified. Before Dr. Martin’s class, I never raised my hand in other classes, with the fear of sounding stupid. Dr. Martin’s role in my life has allowed me to blossom socially as well as become a better student. I now feel comfortable asking others for help, answering questions, and boldly stating my opinion in front of others. These are just a few of the examples of how Dr. Martin positively influenced my life and why I will never forget him as a professor, mentor, and friend.
Thank you Dr. Martin, for helping me grow during my first year back as a student. Thank you for the important lessons you taught me, both in and out of the classroom, and for helping me find my voice. I will forever be grateful, not only when I use your writing process for the next thousand papers of my collegiate career, but also for when I don’t understand something and I have the voice to ask for help.
On behalf of me and the student body at Bloomsburg University, thank you for being an amazing professor.
Until next time,