Good Ole Professors…

I just wanted to give a little recognition to one of those good professors since one generally only hears about the bad ones…

As I was on campus this morning picking up a couple of books and taking my now clean small coffee pot back to my cubicle, I ran into one of my former professors. I have to say, on my Top 10 List of favorite profs, he was quite close to #1. It was dear old Dr. Carlson…

He was my history professor from my first semester at Tech. He taught the first American history class from the beginning of the nation to 1877. He’d been teaching at Tech since probably the 60’s and was one of those older type professors. His style of teaching was interesting, he just came to the front of the lecture hall of 400 students and stood at the podium and told the story of America. No powerpoints and only occasionally did he write on the board. He loved Andrew Jackson too, so at one point he even tried to reenact a dual that Jackson had which was thoroughly entertaining. I just really liked his class even if it was probably more difficult than average.

As a shy freshman, I went to his office out of the blue one day just to say hi and let him know I was in his class. He was shocked that I came, and then we started a long conversation about history. I stopped by his office a couple more times that semester to get some questions answered. From then on, we had a good student-teacher relationship. If we ever happened to see each other on campus after that semester, he always wanted to know how things were going and what year I was. He was a very kind and considerate teacher.

Today was no different.

After I had heard that he’d retired and was pretty much only a consultant, I didn’t think I would see him anymore on campus. I did let him know when I graduated and he sent back a sweet email and told me about the books he was publishing. Today he was walking with a colleague of his and seemed quite happy to see me. He teased me about how I should have gotten a minor in history and hoped that things would go well with my French M.A.

It absolutely made my day, and I hope that if I ever become a teacher either in a high school or maybe a college, that I can have as good of an effect on a student as he has had on me.


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