After going through a series of majors in college and a great period of self-discovery, I realized that my true passion in life was with English, reading and writing are things that I enjoy to no end. So when I started my English major and loved every minute, I was satisfied that I had finally found the right track for myself (and I did this before I was even engaged, which helped tons because that was one less huge decision that I would have to make).
Then, due in part to the persuasion of my great friend Tiana, I took a class that I knew would be very hard, challenging, but probably a once in my lifetime experience.
Dave started the class by explaining that he never gave A's in this class because the students just didn't think on the level that he hoped for, listed out the workload for us and let us know that we were going to be married to John Milton for the semester. He wasn't kidding. (Incidentally, during this time, Enoch referred to John as my boyfriend - the looks on some faces were priceless to hear him talk about his bride for six months this way)
Something happened to me during that time. I discovered a love for learning that I had only percieved through a very small lense. I would spend hours in the library researching various themes of the great epic poem Paradise Lost. Having had a miscarriage at the start of this semester, this poem became my refuge from reality, I started thinking about grad school (something that is still burning in the back of my mind - 10 year plan) and the compliments from my beloved professor changed my life. He is the teacher that I hope to be someday, with the wit and wisdom and amazing sense of reality that kept him relatable and real.
The funny thing about this post is that Dave doesn't like technology, would type all his poetry on a typewriter, didn't even know how to check his email or have any reason to. He has since retired and last I heard moved back to Texas, but I would fly out there with the sole intent of telling him thanks for changing my life. That may be one of the great regrets is that, because he enjoys his seclusion so much, I may never get the chance to show my true gratitude to one of the few who strongly influenced who I am today.