Dear Professor Wendel,

This is an open letter to thank you for everything you have done for me over the last few years. I still remember the day I started your class. I registered late. It was the first week of sophomore year. I was coming of a transitional summer and year in my life. I remember taking your class because I wanted to be creative and I had a lot to say. I had so much I wanted to get off my chest. The months prior to starting creative writing, I had lost two family members from my maternal side. I was also breaking through my depression and my dark times. Creative writing became a safe open place for me to continue to work through my issues, and to express myself without feeling judged. You made that class feel safe and created an environment where everyone could be themselves. That class became like a warm and wonderful group therapy session. Thank you for listening to me and giving my jagged, raw writing shape. You helped me use writing to express myself and break through the box I put myself in my whole freshman year of college. I was able to talk about everything that had perspired in late 2014 and early 2015. You helped me find my voice. You helped me take my bitterness and heartbreak and turn it into poetry. Your creative writing class helped me heal from my pain but none of that would have been possible if it wasn't for the incredible environment in our creative writing class. I never thought a college class would change my life but it did.

Without your creative writing class and your encouragement, I would have never known I loved to write. I definitely would not have joined Odyssey. You helped me realize I loved to write. You helped me realize there was more out there for me that there were more opportunities out there for me.

Thank you for always listening to me, encouraging me and being not only the best professor but an incredible person as well. Thank you for inspiring me with your kind heart and inspiring me with your writing. You are the first professor who I was able to truly connect with. Thank you for being so wonderful to me and showing me that there is kindness and genuine people in the world.

As I am one foot out of the door, my senior year concludes in a few short weeks. I am so excited for you to begin this next phase in your life: motherhood. I wish nothing but immense blessings, joy and happiness on you and your family. I will always cherish that today, on your last day before maternity leave, that I was able to say goodbye to you and see Lucy, your adorable dog. Thank you for all you have done for me. You have left a lasting impact on me in my life. Thank you Professor Wendel for everything.

Creative Writing Class 2015: