Two of the most influential educators in my life left this mortal coil in 2009. Professor James Gremmels and Dr. Raymond Lammers. My English and Theater professors at the University of Minnesota, Morris, MN.
I took a class my freshman year of college that the two of them co-taught. It was a critical thinking class topically based on Theater and English.
It was one of the most important and transformative experiences of my life. However, it was not just that class that I have to thank them for the gifts of the educators in our life are vast.
Dr. Lammers always had faith in me. He pushed me. He challenged me. He made me feel that I could be great. I was encouraged to dream but also to work to make that dream come true. He instilled in me a sense of the discipline it takes to truly make your creative vision come true.
Professor Gremmels was important in a different way. I worked with him at the old time letter press. We would spend hours setting type and printing on an old fashioned printer. His patience during those hours and his guidance taught me that life was not always going to go my way. I had to work with it. His teaching was also very important. His classes were filled with his love and energy of the subject. He breathed all kinds of life into old text and his love of Moby Dick gave me a perspective on the work of Melville that came from a scholar who loved his work.
In honor of all the people that make a difference in your life, I am grateful to both of these great men for the gifts they gave to me. I honor them by remembering them.