Today you ask me, “What is the best idea I’ve ever had.” My first year of college was littered with horrible ideas. My priorities were anything but straight. I went to college on a volleyball scholarship; but my first year, volleyball wasn’t even on my priority list. My teachers thought I was an unmotivated student, as I was… As the end of my freshman year neared, I realized that I hadn’t made any good decisions in regard to my future. This is when I had my brainwave. I went to my advisor’s office, Dr. Nancy Cade, who was also my World Civilizations professor. During my meeting with her something happened to me, I realized she cared about my future. A professor, whose class I had skipped and showed up late for, many times, still saw potential in me. Well, this meant everything. Therefore, I forfeited my Summer and signed up for classes. After passing American History I with Professor Steve Budney ‘by the skin of my teeth’ in the Spring I decided to redeem myself by taking American History II with him during the Summer Term. I applied myself, 100%. I even passed on trips with my friends to study for exams, something I never would have done during my freshman year. I completed the class with an A, one of my first in college. On the last day of class Professor Budney told me that he was delighted with my performance in American II, and couldn’t wait to see me in his classes again. This lit a fire under me; during my next four years in college I became a force to be reckoned with, on the volleyball court and in the classroom.
After proving myself, Dr. Nancy Cade took me to Washington DC on three different occasions, for academic seminars with the prestigious Washing Center (for a total of 7 weeks). These trips were an inspiration for me, and after the first one I solidified my decision to become a high school history/political science teacher.
Upon graduation I received honorary awards from both the History Department and the Education Department. Something I never imagined happening. I also made the Volleyball All-Conference Academic Team.
Last Summer, Dr. Stephen Budney took me to Beijing, China for three weeks to attend an Educational Fellowship with the Beijing University of Agriculture. My decision to go on this trip, I believe, is another one of my brightest ideas. I now consider Dr. Steve Budney as one of my dearest friends.
If I had not went to my advisor’s office that day I honestly believe none of these amazing things would have happened to me. I would have faded away, and probably would have withdrawn from my college and transferred to a community college.
More importantly, I would have never met my husband, who I first encountered outside of my apartment, my fifth year of college. And I never would have met my dog, who I adopted my fourth year of college, from the local ASPCA.
Walking into Dr. Nancy Cade’s office that day was my brightest idea. It opened the door to a domino effect of all of my brightest ideas; marrying my husband, becoming a teacher, adopting my dog, going to China (which I will do again this Summer).
A domino effect of bright ideas.
Pictured: Dr. Nancy Cade, Me, and Dr. Steve Budney.