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When I first came to VCU in Fall 1998, I joined the English Club, this led to my joining the literary magazine and also the SMC (Student Media Commission).

As a member of the SMC I was roped into being a student member of a special affairs committee that picked speakers and special awards recipients for commencement.

I was so nervous to be on a committee with the president of the university and several members of the board of visitors...

They began talking about giving an honorary degree to a local, who is a television celebrity and has built a movie studio about 30 minutes south of here. I wanted so badly to point out that his wife had done as much, if not more, for the university and the community, and to suggest that she be nominated, but I was afraid and unable to get a word in edgewise. Apparently the rules stated they had to have a student on the committee, but said nothing about actually allowing them to speak.

I was quietly muttering under my breath when the kind faculty member next to me encouraged me to speak up. I did and they actually listened with interest, although I don't think my suggestion was ultimately accepted, she did make it into the nomination process.

I actually spoke to that faculty member today for the first time since that meeting, and I told him my story and how important it was for me that someone encouraged me like that. I thanked him and expressed interest in taking one of his graduate level classes. We had a good conversation about GRE's and their place in the application process here. I feel a lot ( or at least a little) better now.

It feels so good to return a kindness...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
My former advisor left because it was obvious that he would never get tenure, when he was on a tenure track at another university, he needed student recommendations about his teaching ability. I was glad to do it.
Sep. 12th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
I also had that happen with my favorite professor, and we still keep in touch!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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