Influences Throughout Your Life

Inspired by all the threads relating to professors, I got to thinking about all those who have influenced me throughout my life–those people who taught me things I didn’t even realize I needed to or could learn. I’d be curious to hear about those in other people’s lives, who they were and what they taught you, as well as how old you were.

I’ll go first…

Sister Ludmillia, who when she was teaching my fourth grade class, put her head on her desk and cried because we were the Class From Hell. I learned how crappy it is to make a nun cry. I wasn’t perfect after that, but I really realized how my behavior can affect others.

Mr. Hill, who as my high school co-op teacher, saw more potential in my intelligence that I ever imagined I had. With is gentle expectations, his encouragement not only lasted through ninth grade, but would come to my mind many, many, many years later.

Dr. Frobe, who taught me not only how to perfect an essay in college, but also the definition of class, manners and public dignity. I have based many of my own personal and professional goals with Dr. Frobe in mind.

Dr. Luce, who taught me that it’s okay to have passion for something and to stick with my beliefs. He also taught me not to be afraid of what I think I initially see in someone, but to explore deeper.

Mitch, who taught me that I can grow and change as a person and still be wonderful, and to push the “traditional” boundaries and create new ones in my life.

Jairee, who guided and encouraged me professionally when I thought I had nothing to offer.

I’m sure there are many more, but that’ll be all for now.

How about yours?

Phyllis Hollis - 8th grade History teacher. Encouraged my attempts at livening up History class. She took me aside and said “You have talents and I want you to use them.” She gave me opportunities to do so.

Fred Franklin- 11th Grade English. Also pulled me aside and said “I’ve known about you since you were in 9th grade, and now that I’ve got you I’m not going to let you skate anymore. You’re bright and talented and you haven’t been challenged yet - I’m going to change that.”

JoAnne Payne- 12th Grade American Government. She asked me to help her teach the class, saying “You’ve never met a person you couldn’t talk to, you may as well be helping me teach.” She was also very active in Democratic Party politics and got me started in that arena, too.