Magnitude and Direction

“If you remember anything from this class, I want you to remember that a vector has both magnitude and direction” – T. Wayne, my high school physics teacher.

A few years ago, I celebrated the tenth anniversary of graduating high school by sending a letter to ten of my former teachers sharing what had stuck with me. Mr. Wayne’s card was easy, as was Ms. Branch’s quadratic equation jingle.

Handwritten letters to former teachersThe notes didn’t just contain facts and figures. I also wrote about their lessons on how to connect my creative ideas with my editorial skills, how to cherish a yet unanswered question, why history matters, what an inclusive classroom feels like, how to learn through song, dance, and shenanigans, and what it means to be cared for and inspired by teachers. Those lessons continued through my four years at William & Mary, and I am looking forward to writing my W&M ten year letters to professors soon.

For now, I am thinking of this coming fall semester and the students in my classes and programs. What do I hope they will remember ten years from now?

That Williamsburg is 9 square miles.

That that matters because of the ways it effects housing, economics, and city-county partnerships.

That they matter.

That they have incredible talents and ideas. Sometimes those ideas just need a few edits.

That one of the best ways to learn is together.

That civic engagement is present in the sidewalks we use, the quality of air we breathe, the people who agree and disagree with us, and the choices we make every day.

What’s a lesson from school that has stuck with you?

Five women celebrating high school graduation

Graduation from Albemarle High School

Categories: Academics, Alumni Blogs, Community Engagement & Service, Faculty & Staff Blogs
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