We often tend to think that we built our empires by ourselves… that we got to the top through our own hard work and sweat. We often forget the encouragement, the kind words [the mean words, too] that propelled us forward and helped us to keep our eyes on the prize.
My uncle [who I have adopted as my father] has been one of those inspirations. Aside from being my second [third and fourth] bank account, he has offered guidance and wisdom. I remember after moving to Canada, he took a day off to visit me and give me a few pointers on cultural differences, which have been valuable to my existence here. We speak at least once a week (once he’s in the country) and he always has something to contribute – be it words of wisdom or encouragement to keep moving.
My professors… I have been blessed to end up with mostly amazing and wonderful professors. These professors were willing to sit with me, go over issues I was facing with my courses and assist me with finding possible solutions to help me better understand the material. I am happy to report that my last grade at my university heralded my graduation in the Spring Convocation and I cannot make my exit without thanking these wonderful people who have supported my scholarly endeavors over the years.
Dr. Milward, a very accommodating professor of Geography was always pleasant and helpful during my visits in first year. Up to my final year, even though I never took another course with him, he was willing to assist me in my job search. Dr. Dobrowolsky, a very busy professor of Political Science, not only advised, but offered recommendations for successful integration – information that I still find useful three years later. Dr. Dansereau happens to be the coolest Biology Professor I have ever had. I could definitely take a few pages out of his book when teaching Science classes to my own students. I learned about the “Trip on the Sofa Level, See” (Trypanosoma Levisi) in his class and wrote an entire blog about this parasite that helped me become more comfortable in Bio class.
As time went by, I got heavily involved in my Environmental Studies courses and met Roxanne Richardson. A gentle soul, but a tough spirit. Roxanne doesn’t play with her deadlines and enforces them to the tee – keeps you on your toes and I loved it. Not only that, there was always a celebration at the end of the semester, and this year, I had the privilege of making home-made jerked chicken for my class! Roxanne is always encouraging me to keep moving forward and her advice is invaluable.
I cannot forget Dr. Raymond, who made math fun in his economics class (don’t ask me how he did this; I never think of math as “fun!” Bleh!). This guy would use real world situations and make those mathematical symbols come to life… it’s like turning hieroglyphs into English! Drs. Burke, Bartlett and Corney have been awesome as well and were very accommodating with my myriad of questions about their respective courses!
Dr. Bob and Dr. Giles, both professors of Geography have demonstrated patience… lots of it. For the life of me, I just could not understand the mathematical aspect (yes, you can tell how much I loooooove math, lol) of their courses. But each office visit, each after class visit, each before class visit, demonstrated to these wonderful professors how much I want to learn. Not only did they accommodate, I was often singled-out (lol) to ensure that I grasped a concept (No, I am not embarrassed to be singled-out… seriously).
Then I met Dr. Cathy Conrad. I have never met someone with such a genuinely lively spirit! I automatically fell in love with the Oceans as I sat through her “Oceans” class. She has such enthusiasm and an obviously genuine love for what she does; there is always something to take away from her lessons and she always, always knows how to turn a crappy situation into something worthwhile. Her enthusiasm and her love of teaching, sharing, and community service overflows onto her students, and I can definitely live with that. She is such an inspiration and I cannot imagine my university career without meeting someone as awesome as she is!
I could not end this “Thank You” note without mentioning Drs. Wiacek and Meek. The math-based courses that these professors are tasked with lecturing are the bane of my existence. But daily visits, phone calls, and emails were accommodated and a possible D in Stats class was converted to a B- after frequent visits and patience on the part of my professor. I was always amazed at the questions Dr. Wiacek would pose in class, and I was always blown away by her ability to come up with near-impossible questions (for me, at least) and then demonstrate how to answer them… and I understood how to solve them afterwards… mind blowing!
To my amazing professors, I could not have done this without you. I will never forget your words of wisdom, advice, suggestions, recommendations and kindness. Your willingness to help has put me in a very good position in this country I now call home, and I am forever grateful. ~JGIC
Jodi-Ann is an Environmental Studies POTENTIAL GRADUATE in Nova Scotia, Canada.
***Photos all acquired from external sources. I do not own these photos.