My professor’s gift
Faced with missing a chance at a degree, the author is the recipient of a good deed.
I WANTED TO BECOME a psychologist. Even with two toddlers at home, I entered the University of Texas at Dallas in 1991, and with luck and hard work, I hoped to graduate with honors.
But I never counted on MS coming into my life. In the beginning of my senior year, the MS diagnosis destroyed my plans. Obviously, graduating with honors was now impossible. I turned my attention to just graduating.
Professor Golden, my honor’s thesis mentor, didn’t want me to lower my goals. He had always been-supportive, but now he really got behind me. He did more of the laboratory work than was usual for a professor. More important, he extended the normal deadlines, enabling me to complete assignments under the changed circumstances.
However, the continued progression of my MS overcame even Dr. Golden’s help. By February 1995, my chronic fatigue prevented me from attending college at all. could not complete my final two courses, nor my research project.
Dr. Golden learned of my predicament and, without telling me, managed to have those courses waived. Even more importantly, he urged the department committee to accept my thesis in an unfinished state because of the high caliber of my work. Unbelievably, I was going to graduate, not just with honors, but summa cum laude!
At the ceremony, my husband, Tom, and my daughters, Roma and Kathy, sat in the audience with my elderly grandmother, who had made the difficult trip from New York.
Only 11 people received the coveted medallion, and when the dean placed it around my neck, he kissed my cheek. Kathy immediately yelled out, “Who’s that man kissing my mommy? Make him stop!” Everyone started to applaud. Thanks to Dr. Golden’s generosity, my graduation wa$ all that I had hoped for and more.
Dafna Yee resides in Piano, TX.
Copyright Springhouse Corporation Apr 2002
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