Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dr. Garrison

This is my favorite professor, Dr. Garrison.

I haunted his office hours religiously, hanging out on the English Department floor of Academic Hall in an area my friend Nina and I affectionately called "The Nook". I'd hear him cough or chuckle or make some sort of loud noise (he was never very quiet) Thinking back now, I can't even remember what sorts of pressing matters I would make up in order to spend time with him.

It is so hard for me to believe that someone so animated, so full of emotion and passion, is gone. Where does all that energy go?

I wish I had some way to visit him again. It's been nearly 20 years since I was a student in his class. How can that be? But so much of him has slipped from my memory, leaving just sparkling remnants of who he was. The gleam in his eye when I got something right. The disappointment when I didn't. His fabulous stories and how completely wrapped up he got in retelling them. His chuckle. But more than anything I will remember how much he believed in me. It seemed incredible to me how much value he saw in makes me smile to think of it now.

I took a class with him my senior year called "The Power of the Metaphor"...there were only five other students in this class and it was intense. Every thursday night, for three hours we'd discuss how everything in life is a metaphor. How even the simplest word is a metaphor. He said often "There's a poem in every thing." And his life was spent searching and collecting them.

I wish I could go back now to that nook, waiting to hear him in his office. I would dream up something wonderful to tell him about...something that would engage him in another of his wild stories with expressive hand gestures and loud guffaws. And then I would keep it safe somewhere where time could not go.

Thank you, Dr. Garrison, for all of those office hours. I can't wait to hear your stories again.

Click here to read more about Dr. Garrison. 


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is bringing wonderful memories of my History professor (Mr. Tuck) who was so eccentric but so amazing at the same time. He used to walk around campus with a safari It was kind of sweet in a way. Thanks for bringing back those memories.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

It's always a blessing when someone has passed and made such a memorable impression on us . . that's a good thing. His efforts weren't wasted.

Whosyergurl said...

Oh, that almost makes me cry. Because I had a professor that I loved like that. When I was still on campus, he and I would email and he would stop by my office. There was a very respectful affection there. And...he would get so excited when he taught and how his eyes would dance.
I hope you find comfort in your memories. Hoosier hugs, Cheryl

Waterfall said...

You and Dr. Garrison had such a special relationship. I do remember the long hours, hanging out at the nook, waiting for him to make a noise. And if he actually came out and talked to us--wow! :) My main classroom experience with him was in majors' seminar. I remember how mad he would get when people wouldn't focus on the text itself, or when someone made a particularly wrong-headed assertion about the text. I loved that he was so passionate about literature, particularly poetry, and that he had such high standards (though they scared me at the time). I've often wished in the years since that I'd taken more classes with him. I am poorer today for not having done so.

He touched a lot of lives, yours more so than many others, I think. He will be missed.

Have a safe trip today. I love you!


Kateyed said...

He sounds like a lovely man, Amy.