Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Good Mentor Can Make All the Difference

 Glatfelter Hall, Gettysburg College
Everyone needs a good mentor.  Mike McTighe served as an important mentor in my life who helped me learn the academic ropes. Mike did more than talk he demonstrated his confidence in my intellectual ability by asking me to co-teach my first college course with him—a comparative religious history course on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In addition he offered to write letters of support for my application to Ph.D. programs. Shortly after the course started, Mike told me that doctors had diagnosed him with cancer. He asked me to continue teaching the course alone, and assured me that I could handle the class. I was 28 years old at the time and that semester, I served as an interim dean, adjunct professor, and defensive coordinator for the Gettysburg Men’s Lacrosse team. I was reading like crazy to stay ahead of my students plus over preparing because of my internal fear that someone would find out that I was a fake, a guy who struggled to spell basic words and spent twice as much time reading the same material as my students. And as for the lacrosse, as was the case at Croton Harmon, Herkimer, and Syracuse, Gettysburg lacrosse during my tenure was good but nothing like the teams that have made the final four over the last ten years. More on the players I coached during my time there from 1989 to 1992

Lessons from My Graduate School Experience: http://lacrossememoir.blogspot.com/search?q=Graduate+School

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