Dear Nancy Bode,
I remember the first day I walked into your class. It was my first college class at Metro State, after I decided to take college seriously. I picked Constitutional Law because it sounded interesting. Then, mere minutes into the class you asked if everyone had taken Intro to Criminal Justice. I had not. You spoke to me after class and said that it was a prerequisite. I’m not sure why I was allowed to register without having taken the prereq, but I was and you said it was a problem. I asked you why. You said I needed basic knowledge in order to excel at your class.
I said, “but what if I don’t?”
After about a 10 minute discussion, you agreed to override the prereq and allow me to stay in the class. You saw something in me. Something that made you take a risk on me. You asked me if I was majoring in Criminal Justice and I said I didn’t know. You told me that before the semester was out, I would be.
You were right.
I never worked so hard for a class or loved it so much. It was, and remains to this day, my favorite class I’ve ever taken. I learned more than I can say. After I received the highest grade in your class (a perfect score, which you had never given and I had never received) you lobbied to have the prereq dropped-and it was-because of me. That is my legacy at that school. No one knows about it, there’s no record, but I know.
After that, I took every single class you taught. Mmm, five of them I think? I honestly can’t remember. You became my first mentor. You gave me advice on which classes to take, on what fields to pursue, on anything I asked of you. When I wanted to go to grad school to become a librarian, completely switching the field you taught me to love, it was you I turned to. You supported and encouraged my decision and offered me a recommendation.
You were a reference on my resume for years and years.
But those are all things. In reality, you impacted my life, permanently. You showed me how to follow my passions. You taught me that it’s okay to fight and if you work for it, you’ll succeed. You gave me faith in myself at a time I was very lost in this world.
I still see you now and again and it’s always wonderful. It brings back memories of that 20 year old girl that you first met. I’m grateful for your mentorship and blessed in your friendship.
Thank you for being part of my life,
(to see why I am doing this, read here)