Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

To Professors Gilbert and Pitkethly, AUP

August22

Dear Professor,

One of my dearest friends recently completed his PhD and became a professor at a small college in the US (which makes me sad, because he lives too far away and I rarely see him, but that’s beside the point). He came back to Sofia for a couple of weeks and we were talking about his life and work in academia.

I don’t know why, but I have this romanticized vision of professors’ lives – movie-like scenes against the backdrop of gorgeous American campuses or vibrant cities, where different people are driven together by their common interests and beliefs, and their desire to grow, where even the most casual of exchanges feel so important and formative and exciting (I guess both Hollywood and Paris are to blame for that). So I told him that this is how I think of him at his job… and well, his story was quite different. He actually had a lot to complain about and told me that he does not get much satisfaction out of it.

So I asked what would give him the satisfaction he seeks. A better pay? Increased interest in his classes? Or perhaps a student coming to him after an X amount of time, saying “Professor, you changed my life!”?

Definitely the third one, he said immediately.

Yesterday I read this article.

And then it dawned on me: I don’t think I ever properly said “Thank you”.

So this is a belated and spur-of-the-moment note to tell you that the way you inspired me to read, think, write, transform and be is a great part of who I am today. And for this I am eternally grateful.

Professor, you changed my life.

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