By the Grace of God, I stumbled upon the most amazing professor on the planet (lest you think I’m exaggerating, I can have you can look him up on ratemyprofessor.com). This man literally changed my life. He opened doors of beauty, joy, faith in God, a love of creation and human creativity and ingenuity that I had never even thought to walk through. And he didn’t teach from a book, he had slides that he took himself at the different museums around the world. He would talk about the things he was showing us with great passion and emotion. One example is when it came time for him to introduce us to Gregorian Chants, we walked into a dark room with a few candles flickering on the podium. We made our way to our seats and waited. Slowly but surely we began to hear the low sounds of monks singing in unison. As our eyes became accustomed to the darkness, we could see that there was a cloaked figure behind the podium. In his deep voice, our professor began to speak in a slow cadence explaining the music and how it came to be. The combination of the mysterious chanting and his deep, slow voice could have been scary but instead built up interest and awe in his students. That is just one small example of how this man inspired and motivated us to learn.
A few times a semester, he’d hand out free tickets to local concerts, expositions, opera dress-rehearsals, etc. And then, he’d actually show up to them and he’d spend his time afterward hanging out with the students who went, and discussing what we had just seen and background information that he had about the authors, painters, musicians, actors, etc. Seriously, the most amazing teacher ever.
I graduated from that community college and went on to complete my degree at another local university. About 8 years later, I was homeschooling my children, and my oldest enrolled in dual enrollment at the same community college. I made sure she took that class with that professor and she was blown away! I sat in during some of my favorite lectures and chatted with him afterward. He told my daughter how he had always remembered me as one of his favorite students because I was like a sponge soaking up all this new and wonderful information. My other daughter actually took his class a few years later and didn’t even do well in it but still counts it as the most amazing class she’s ever taken. Our family would frequently bring up his name throughout the years as we’d see a piece of art in a movie or a column in a building or hear a classical piece at an antique store. That is how much of an impact this professor has in our lives.
Many years pass and we became “friends” on Facebook but he was never on there so other than knowing that he was still teaching at the same school, I knew nothing about his current life. Fast forward a few more years and I get a private message that he had just gotten his Ancestry.com DNA results and that he was pretty sure that we are actually cousins!!
It seems that my great, great grandmother and his great grandfather were siblings!
We’ve been catching up via text and messenger mostly and have talked a lot about our struggles in the last few years with some pretty terrible things that have happened to each of us or our families and how our faith in God has been shaken. I shared with him that I was watching this series of shows and movies that had been really helping me see the world and our struggles in a different light. I encouraged him to look for them online and on amazon prime but he couldn’t seem to find them.
I have since replaced my set of videos (as a great postal evangelism tool:) because I honestly don’t want them back. I’m hoping he’ll watch them over and over again and continue to use them as a therapeutic faith-restoring tool in his life (and maybe postal evangelize also).
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The Living Letters series continues as long as there are stories (or even praise reports) to share, and I'm always looking for submissions. If you would like to contribute something about how Signed, Sealed, Delivered has impacted your life (or even your wardrobe) that you'd be willing to share here on A&D, feel free to email me. Keep the good going and submit yours today.