Let’s keep this gratitude train rolling!
In college I loved philosophy, but I never really threw my full academic or personal attention behind anything I had done. As was the case in most of school, work came somewhat naturally. Though I had some growing pains when I tried skipping intro courses and taking some intermediate classes, in general I got by with an average effort.
That was, until I decided to do an Honors thesis. It was then that I realized that my professors recognized my average effort. I didn’t have a lot of takers to be my thesis advisor in the department. Most politely passed it off. One professor,Dr. Glen Ross at Franklin and Marshall College, agreed because he was intrigued by my topic: Contextual Solutions to the Problem of Vagueness.
Glen was patient in letting me develop my theory, helping me find holes to plug, directing me to the best available theories I would have to disprove, and checking my logical proofs. Then one day it was early April, I would be defending my thesis in a month and I had exactly 0 pages! I panicked. I pulled two all night writing sessions and brought 37 pages to my professor. I was halfway through my paper!
Glen went through page by page. Most of my first 37 pages had big red Xs on them where he said “STOP REPEATING YOURSELF!” After we had met, I had about 15 pages left and realized how much harder I had to work! By the end of April I had 35 pages of concise, clear theories and strong arguments against those competing theories by philosophical giants like Timothy Williamson!
I defended that Thesis in front of a panel of four professors. When I left that room, I felt like the giant! When they left the room to speak with me, they all complimented me on how well I had done. Many said they would have been interested to have me develop the theory more.
Dr. Glen Ross taught me about patience, coaching a learner, and having belief in his students.
To this day, despite having from two MA degrees, my Honors Thesis and defense is still my proudest moment as a student at any level! Thank you Dr. Glen Ross for believing in me, and having the patience to let me find my way!