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What an influence my education has had on me! I don’t mean just the subjects. Certainly that was why I went to school. To learn about architecture. To learn to design. To make an impact on the world we live in. I received an excellent education. I left school prepared to enter the professional world, and build upon my abilities with each experience in each firm. A group of lifelong friends bolstered my progress, a built-in support from those who know why we put in the late nights, know the pressure of a deadline, and the exhilaration of meeting it in a most excellent manner.
All that aside, it is not the subject that swims in my mind, or the physicality of the building (although I do remember climbing in an open restroom window one night when I needed to get into the building to finish a project for the next day . . . ), it is Professor Andrews, as he encouraged me to explore ideas. Not only design ideas, but ideas about the world. To push myself to wonder . . . just to wonder. What an exhilarating thing wondering is! And when he couldn’t answer my questions, could no longer guide my wondering, he researched on his own and then pushed me some more!
What an impact the educators in my life have had! No, I don’t remember much about the average ones. I don’t remember much about the educators who were just doing their job, or those who read to us in class out of the textbook. But I do remember those who encouraged, prodded and expected volumes. I do remember the visiting professors, there for one term or a year. Those coming from “real life” practice. I remember asking, “Do you really do this once you’re out of school?” more than once!
And now, the department chair of the local design school is asking me if I would consider being an adjunct professor for a class next semester. I think about those people whose advice I sought and from whom I benefited, and the impact I might have on a group of students in the oh-so-formative years of their professional careers. My past instructors say: “Yes, go for it! Think of the impact you can have. You, too, may influence someone’s decision years from now!” And aloud, I say “Sure, I would love to give it a try. I think I have a lot to offer to the students.”