Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Series "An Ode To" #4: "An Ode To Debra Wells-Hopey"

Good morning my friends! I realize I missed yesterday's monthly Ode series post and I do apologize. Life is exciting and also very busy at the moment but I will always do my best to make up for the disruption in my posts.

This month's entry is for my current instructor at Eastern College. I know what you may be thinking; that I'm looking for bonus points or some sort of favor but this is just not the case. There are real, honest reasons why I have chose her for this, as you will soon see, none of which include brown-nosing or sucking up. I am going to attempt another regular posting later to make up for the disruption from yesterday as well. As always, thank you ever so much for your continued support and encouragement. Love one another.

Dear Debra,

When I was looking for a post secondary institution to attend, I had many options. When I decided that I wanted to pursue a future in Public Relations or Radio and Television I went out and applied to several institutions. It matters not the reason but I was turned away from every school I had applied to except Eastern College. As it turns out, this has been one of the most fortunate turn of events to occur to me in some time.

When I began attending classes at Eastern, I wasn't sure exactly where I would end up when I was done or what I might be doing. To be honest, other than my knack for communicating with people, I don't think I had a proper understanding of Public Relations. You have changed that. Your experience in the field combined with your educational background have made learning and understanding the many aspects of Public Relations much more in depth and much more personal. I cannot thank you enough for all of the very important knowledge that you have shared with me and I am eager to learn more from you.

The most important thing I really want you to know is how eternally grateful I am for your support and encouragement. I know eternally grateful sounds exaggerated and perhaps somewhat over-dramatic but it is truth. When I entered your classroom, I enjoyed writing a great deal however I had not produced anything in many years. Hearing and sharing in your personal experiences as a writer initially encouraged me to begin this blog. As my support continues to grow from outside of the classroom, I feel it is necessary to share with that growing support the reason they are here with me today: You.

You have encouraged me, pushed me, challenged me and supported me through a great deal over the last several months; and not just concerning my blog. Agree or disagree, you have firmly stood by me and offered your support as well as your advice and concerns in many of the public engagements I've been involved with. I have dealt with many uncertainties over this time, many confrontations and many situations that caused me to despair. Your honest and unbiased opinion and support has done far more to get me through them at times then you may be aware.

I want to thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. You have taught me, and continue to teach me, more than I ever expected to know about Public Relations. More importantly, you have provided me with more than an institutional education could; you have provided me with a renewed confidence in myself and in my abilities. You have reminded me of the true potential that exists within the confines of my mind; a memory  that has been, for too long, forgotten and hidden away. You have given me back confidence in myself and renewed my personal self-confidence.

With the school year at its mid-way point, I am, more than ever, excited at the prospect of gaining a better insight and learning of the Public Relations world. What you have given, and continue to give, is above and beyond what an instructor is required. You are not an instructor, you are a teacher in every sense of the word. Anyone can instruct and command; it takes a unique and special human being to teach.

When thinking about my current social activities, I am unsure where the future will bring; what roads I will have opportunity to travel or what doors will closed to me as a result. Regardless of that uncertainty I am confident that I have gained, and will gain, enough knowledge to find some form of success in this, my current path. Success in my career choice, however, is a long second to the success of re-discovering myself, my abilities and my confidence. That is something that cannot be taught in a classroom; it is not something that can be instructed; it has to come from wisdom and experience. You are much more than any title ever will give you credit for.

So thank you Debra Wells-Hopey. Whether you are aware or not; whether it matters or not; you have made a difference, a positive and critical difference, in the life of someone; not just the life of a student but the life of a human being. 

Sincerely and with the greatest of respect, humility and thanks,

John