A Thank You Letter To The Professor Who Changed My Life

A Thank You Letter To The Professor Who Changed My Life

Thank you for everything you have done for me the last few years.
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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:

Cover Image Credit: John Bhatti

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Academics and Creativity Conflicts

Academics is definitely something important for students, but it seems that creativity is pushed aside too often.

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As students, we are heavily focused on academics. Some of us may also be heavily focused on athletics. Anything that helps or is integrated into our academic careers has a way of controlling how we live our daily life. We go to class, we study and do homework, we attend activities/work, and then we most likely have little time to relax.

One thing that seems to lack in the academic world is creativity. Many students may say "Well, I'm not creative." Why have students subjected themselves to being uncreative individuals? How does someone define "creativity" as the verbatim definition across the world? Creativity can be used widely if we are aware of how it can be done.

  1. In the classroom, students can find creative ways to approach a debate, a different way of understanding a topic, changing the argument and allowing different perspectives and voices to be heard, and so much more.
  2. Students can find different ways of changing the issues our communities may face such as homelessness, segregated communities, etc.
  3. Organizations can be created to fill in the gaps our communities may have (including in a university).
  4. Students can remain to do creative activities such as crafts, writing, art, etc. This can be done within different organizations or in the comfort of the student's home.
  5. There are different platforms that encourage creativity like photoshop, video editing software, websites like Wattpad to create and share your own stories, and more.

We cannot let academics take over every moment of our lives. It can easily result in a point where we have no motivation to do anything at all because we are in a constant routine that can drain us. We are more than school, although it is still very important. If we shall succeed, we have to embrace the things we love to do and not forget about who we are.

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