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March 2017

Dear Professor

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I love teaching, and the best job I’ve had yet is as a full-time professor at Broward College. However, there’s no denying that the profession is filled with challenges. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming job that leaves little time for any other thoughts in my head, and no time for friends and family in my daily schedule. Sometimes, I wonder if what I do matters. And some days, a student provides me with the answer:

Good evening Professor,

I just want to thank you for taking interest in me and seeing me for what I am capable of doing. I have doubted myself in almost everything I have done since I started middle school and was bullied for my thinking. But with this assignment about Wonder Woman, you helped me get myself back if that makes any sense. After reading that article, it made me think of many different outcomes in my life about men and this article just made everything 90% clearer for myself.

Thank you,

I’ve omitted the student’s name for privacy reasons. Curious about the Wonder Woman article? Here it is.

When a student spontaneously composes a thank you note and sends it to me in response to an assignment, it’s magical. It’s especially magical when many students in that same class complained about the length of the reading! I assigned the article because I loved it, as I love anything that looks at pop culture and notes its socio-political relevance. Here, though, was an interpretation I hadn’t considered: that an article that looks at feminism from the suffragettes to the current day would give a female student historical context for her own struggle to be heard and respected. I am deeply grateful to this student, and others like her, who are open to the idea that education can be transformative. Because for me, transformation is what it’s all about.