Photo: JBU Professors Invest in Our Students

JBU Professors Invest in Our Students

First-Year Reflections

    

Monday, March 27, 2017

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During my senior year of high school, I was wanting to enjoy the exciting new things coming up, but all I could think of was the fact that I was leaving everything and everyone that I knew. Included in the word “everyone”, were some of my teachers that I had grown to know and love. I went to a small Christian school from preschool through senior year, and the teachers that taught there knew me. They knew my name, what I liked/disliked, my sassy and sarcastic personality, my family, and if they sensed I was having a rough day, they would pull me aside and pray with me. They were a huge blessing during my high school career. When I was looking at colleges, however, I figured that finding professors that cared about me the way my high school teachers did was just a figment of my imagination, so I grew to accept what I thought would be my reality- that I would just be a number in a classroom.

When I visited JBU in November of my senior year, I had been scheduled to meet with Dr. Kevin Simpson, head of the Psychology department. Unfortunately, my campus tour went a bit long, and I was not going to be able to meet with him since I had to be at work. I figured that he wouldn’t think much of it, so I told my admissions counselor who said not to worry about it, and I left.

A few days later, I went to check my mailbox, and to my surprise, there was a letter from Dr. Kevin Simpson. He personally wrote to me, saying that he had looked forward to meeting me during my tour, and was sad that we didn’t get a chance to talk. He said that he completely understood that I had to get to work, and that it was no big deal that I had to leave earlier than I had planned. He did say that if I had any questions, whether it be about the Psychology department or about JBU in general, that I could email him. Knowing that a professor from a college that I hadn’t even committed to reached out to me, made me feel important and connected to the school, even though I wasn’t there yet.

When I arrived at JBU for orientation, I was overwhelmed, excited, nervous, scared, anxious, and genuinely terrified for my first day of classes. I was talking to my orientation leaders about my worries, and they said that the professors at JBU care about you, and that you weren’t just a number in a classroom. “Well, that’s their view. I highly doubt that they are nice. They probably just want to fail you,” I thought. However, when I went to class the next day, I realized how utterly wrong I had been.

I showed up to my first class 15 minutes early, like any normal freshman in college would do, and anxiously waited outside the room. When my professor arrived, she was a petite, older lady with a spunky, energetic, and outgoing personality. When she took roll, she wanted to look at the face of the person who answered, which I thought was neat. She then went on to say that if there was something that we were struggling with, whether that be college life, the subject matter of the class, or a home situation, she wanted to help- and let me tell you, she helped me a lot. I went to her office numerous times for tutoring, along with just talking to her during my lab times. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the professors genuinely do care about you.

So far, I have made personal connections with all my professors. Each one of them knows me by name and if they see me in the library, the cafeteria, or any other spot on campus, they ask me how I’m doing or pick on me. One of my professors in particular- cough, cough- Kevin Simpson, knows my opinionated and stubborn personality and likes to mess with me (we did have three classes together my first semester). Thankfully, he is okay with the fact that I am just as sarcastic and opinionated as he is, so if I give him attitude, he gives it right back, and vise-versa. Haha! The professors joke around with you and make sure that you are included in the class discussion. I can tell you that ten years from now, I will still be in contact with most, if not all, of my professors.

Dr. Jim Blankenship, former lawyer, biblical theologian, and multiple other titles that I can’t even name right now, has given me admirable advice about pre-law, answered multiple Bible questions, and has saved me from accidentally getting a zero on a test (thank goodness, he was in his office). When they say that they are there to help you succeed, they mean it! Dr. Blankenship could have easily given me a zero- the mistake was my fault. However, he saved me so I wouldn’t fail his class. He called me by name, even when he had 150 students in three different sections! That was so encouraging to me. He also knows that when I come into class on Friday, I always ask for a story (his stories are the best), so he has one picked out by the time I get to class.

The professors at JBU have truly changed my college experience. They have encouraged me, prayed for me, counseled me, challenged me, and advised me along this crazy ride that we call “college life”. They check on me if I didn’t do as well on a test as I normally do, and ask if there is anything they can do to help. They challenge me academically, but also spiritually. They bring out different viewpoints on certain Biblical topics that have typically been avoided since they are controversial. However, the professors want JBU to be a safe place where we can wrestle with things like that and seek the wisdom and counsel of those around us, along with pointing us back to the Bible as our main source. They make sure that whatever the topic may be, we always incorporate our faith into it. They continuously remind us that God is sovereign, just, righteous, and that He should be at the center of our lives. Now, THAT is something you won’t get at a state school.

Blog HomePosted By: Veronica King - 3/27/17 10:00 AM

 

 

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