Teaching is probably the most thankless profession in the world. From Addis Ababa to Toronto, teachers are underappreciated, underpaid and just generally put ‘under’. It is so very easy for most of us to forget that a teacher or two were responsible for molding the Mandelas, the Obamas and the Gates of this world.
My mother was a high school biology teacher and a guidance counselor. The guidance counseling bit was probably her favorite thing to do. She disagrees and tells me that being a mother is her favorite thing and guidance counseling just afforded her an opportunity to mother other people’s children. It is from her that I learned to appreciate what teachers do. Not appreciating teachers would have been akin to not appreciating my mother. I really had no choice in the matter.
I walked into Miller Hall for the first time last August burdened with my many dreams. The thing with dreams is that they are like wings and alone, they can only flap. Wings need wind, direction and purpose. This is what I came looking for in Miller. By the time I said goodbye for the summer, my dreams as well as those of many of my classmates had taken some form of bearing. This is what the faculty does for us at the Mason School of Business.
Before heading to my internship for the summer, I made a quick stop in New York and visited Wall Street on the day the Facebook IPO opened. I could almost hear the man in blue shirts and brown khakis saying ‘Remember Kenecott.’ Last week, I attended my first meeting as an intern and the only thing I understood was the correlation between certain variables. My heart silently blessed Professors Hewitt and Flood. Tomorrow, I can confidently set my sights on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s (the Nigerian Finance Minister) job because Professor Robeson made Macroeconomics seem like ABC. There is a street here in Denver called Abilene and every time I pass it I smile and make a silent promise to Professor Wilson to avoid ‘going to Abilene’ at all costs. I can see cattle from my office (Denver is the West after all). It makes me think a little bit more about the ethical issues that faced the characters in one of our ethics reading for last year, ‘Guns of Timberland.’
Everywhere I turn, I am surrounded by reminders of all the great lessons I have learned in this past year, even those that I didn’t particularly like. A lot has changed about my dreams and for the better; I have the faculty as well as my supportive classmates to thank. There are many reasons why I chose to come to school here and there will be many reasons why I will hold my head up high as a graduate of the Mason School of Business. Prominent amongst them will be the privilege to have been taught by the amazing faculty here at Mason. They, and previous teachers (yes Mum, you especially) are the wind beneath the wings of my dreams.
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