The word “professor” almost seems intimidating. These are people who went the extra mile and got extra schooling in order to teach at a higher level. These people should be uptight and strict and want to do things by the book, right? Maybe at another college, but definitely not here. I never realized the impact a professor can have on your life until I moved to Northwestern. Every new class I take and every professor I study under has their own unique way of teaching that makes it enjoyable yet understandable.
This semester I’m taking a Spanish class. Being an English major, I thrive in the English language but struggle with learning the simplest words in another language. In Professora McDonald’s class, though, I’ve been witnessing how much one can learn in just a short amount of time. Her creative activities in class allow for us to learn the language on multiple levels, not just on paper. It’s also been a blessing to see her personality shine through her teaching. She enjoys joking around with us and talking about her love for her dog and for the musical “Hamilton.” Although I don’t have a close personal relationship with her, she is still invested in my education, just like she is with every one of her students.
The professors also make an impact even when you’re not taking their classes. My friend and I spend a decent amount of time in the English building (Kepp Hall) studying because it has the providence of many comfy couches. The couches we like to relax on are near Professor Kensak’s office, and he enjoys stepping out of his office quite a bit to participate in conversation with us. We’ve talked about the benefits of homeschooling and the importance of linguistics, and almost everything in between. I mean, just last week we talked about the Olympics and the weird enticement of curling. This is an example of how the impact of the professors on campus goes beyond the classroom.
And don’t even get me started on my amazing FYS (First Year Seminar) professor, Karen Barker, who is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. Although she’s deeply involved in the theatre department, and that’s definitely not my area of expertise, she still influenced our class immensely through the deep conversations we would have over the course material and even through random conversations about her and her husband’s cute love story. She’s the one who encouraged me to apply for a cultural and theatrical summer trip to England through the college, and a big reason why I’m going is because she and her husband are leading the trip. They have impacted many lives, and I’m blessed to be one of them.
Of course, I had great experiences with my high school teachers too. That school, though small, was blessed with teachers who cared about the students as well. But considering I had those teachers for four years, I’ve been amazed to see the impact Northwestern professors can make in just a semester, and I look forward to all of the professors I’ll meet in the future.