In terms of academics, this year was my favorite. The classes I took have been my favorites yet, because of the subject matter and the professors that taught me. As this year ends, I want to thank my current and past professors for being amazing and having such a positive impact on my academic experience at William & Mary and St. Andrews.
The level of enthusiasm my professors have about their courses and research is inspiring to me. There is so much enthusiasm! For example, my Classical Studies professor is an expert on Minoan Crete and so clearly loves our class, which makes it incredibly fun. We write a short essay almost every week on a topic. She sometimes emails the class to say how she absolutely loves reading our essays, that we are excellent students, and make her want to cry happy tears. It’s apparent that she (and many other professors I’ve had!) love teaching and want us to be as excited as they are.
I’ve been fortunate to have close relationships with a few of my professors. My major advisor in the Joint Degree Programme is one of these people. She was the first professor I met at William & Mary and has been a support throughout all of my years at college, both in and out of academia. Also, the former head of the Joint Degree Programme held wonderful events for us with the best catered food, brought our cohort together, and was supportive of all of us. Thus, everyone adored her! I’m so grateful to the professors and staff involved in the Joint Degree Programme.
I’ve gotten to know quite a few other professors by attending office hours. Often when I go to office hours for help, I end up staying and talking. I discovered that professors like to get to know their students a bit and I enjoy it the same! Shout out to my freshman year Statistics professor, COLL 150 professor, and my Greek pottery professor for being so helpful to me, genuinely caring about my academic success and teaching the coolest courses.
I’ve also had great times with professors outside of the lecture hall. One of my favorite stories is about my William & Mary Latin professor, who I had during my freshman year. Flash forward one year to sophomore year in St. Andrews, Scotland. It was a normal weekday and I was walking down the main street of St. Andrews on my way to the library when I hear someone excitedly calling my name. Coming down the crowded street in the opposite direction is someone I never would have expected: my William & Mary Latin professor! What! I was naturally shocked, as I typically do not expect to see American acquaintances while in another country. Turns out he was there on a business trip organized by the Joint Degree Programme.
After a short and animated exchange on the street with my former professor (he was walking to a meeting), I texted my two friends who had been in the same Latin class, and were also Joint Degree Programme students attending St. Andrews with me at the time. My friends and I agreed that we had to see our William & Mary professor while he was visiting Scotland. So, all four of us spontaneously met for coffee in town later that day! It was really fun to catch up, rave about how amazing St. Andrews was, and wail about never wanting to leave.
Lastly, I don’t personally know all professors I’ve had, but I adore many because of their teaching style and the content they teach. Although I like to argue that humanities reign supreme, my astrobiology professors had me switching sides and preferring science for a semester. Just that one semester though. I stand firm again that humanities rule! And I’ve had exceptional lecturers in the School of Art History at St. Andrews. To hear their talks on Early Photography, Impressionism, and 18th Century French art again would be the most fun.
The enthusiasm, kindness, intelligence, and dedication of my professors inspire me in so many ways. I only have one year left of undergrad and I wish I had many more.