2011/365/061: Lectures, Alums, and Awards

I had the distinct honor of spending the afternoon and evening at UMBC with several of my alums. Sami, pictured above (she’s the one on the right, in case you were wondering), nominated me for the Humanities Scholars Exemplary Teacher Award, and I, along with 7 other teachers, were recognized at a small reception and then dinner. It is an honor that I will cherish as one of my highlights in my teaching career.

Thank you, Sami. I am extremely grateful. You are a tremendous individual who has such a promising career ahead. Your patience and your love for learning are the perfect combination as you continue to realize your dreams.

Before the reception, I was equally honored to be surrounded by other alums–George, Gagan, and Lenore along with Sami–for a panel discussion moderated by Dan Rodricks of WYPR. The topic centered on the book, The Obama Effect, edited by Kimberly Moffitt, from UMBC; Heather Harris, from Stevenson University; and Catherine Squires, from the University of Minnesota. As much as I enjoyed the discussion (and this is a topic that I hope to cover in another blog entry), I thoroughly enjoyed the event with my alums.

After the discussion, Lenore surprised me with a birthday gift–a mug with one of my all-time favorite sayings: Trust the Process.

I do trust it. And tonight, I was reminded all over again that, even though the teaching in the classroom eventually comes to an end, the friendships and the reciprocal teachings never do. Sami said to me tonight (and I paraphrase lightly here), “I have a love for learning that I think will never end.” And she’s right. She does. Here’s hoping that each of us finds that love no matter where we are or whom we are with. It’s a great, great thing to keep the discussions flowing long after you have taken that long-awaited walk on graduation day.


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