Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to teach me, to challenge me. I spent four years at Bellarmine and have since moved on to “bigger and better” things (that’s what they’re telling me, but I don’t believe them). I have always appreciated the brilliance and the thoughtfulness that my professors at Bellarmine brought to the classroom, to my education and to the education of hundreds and thousands (probably hundreds of thousands in Dr. Mahoney’s case) of other students. My time at another institution has made me appreciate your efforts even more. I am more grateful for you and for having the opportunity to learn from you than words can express, but I decided to give it a go anyway.
Thank you for pushing me to succeed. Thank you for the C on that first paper. Thank you for calling me out when I was being lazy and telling me that I was simply going to have to work harder if I wanted to be what I had set out to become. Thank you for believing that I could. You had your own research, your own work to be published. Grading some of our assignments must have been a combination of hilarious and downright painful at times. Listening to our complaints and pretending not to hear them was likely not easy either. Thank you for yelling at an entire class for not completing the reading assignments and telling us to leave and come back to class once we had found the time to do so. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for dinner and advising our clubs, our projects, and our academic plans. Thank you for weeks of finals that left me feeling exhausted and accomplished. Thank you for watching my presentations and taking the time to tell me that I spoke too fast or said “um” far more often than any person ever should. Thank you for sharing a laugh over a ridiculous story or an absurd YouTube video. Thank you for the serious moments. Thank you for the hug on graduation day.
I imagine that it seems most days that students simply want to get out of school with their degree as quickly and with as little work as possible just so that they can get that job. That’s probably true for the majority of students. I am here to tell you that there are exceptions to that rule. I have since experienced an education like that, where the assignments are made up and the grades don’t matter. I want nothing of it. I’ll take a challenge from my Bellarmine professors over the easy way out any day of the week. What you do matters. Your instruction has made and is making a difference in the lives of your students. I am here to say thank you.
Kelly McDaniels ’11