I gave up on completing my college education many years ago when they told me there were two things I would have to do in order for them to proclaim me smart enough for the real world. Those two things? Math and Science. Seriously? I always fancied myself more of a “words” person, and the thought of having to complete coursework in Math and Science convinced me that my real destiny in life was to be some kids’ mom. While there is a small bit of biology involved there, no one asked me to spew out the process of photosynthesis or prepare slides to look at under a microscope.
So after passing my Algebra course last semester with an A, I figured the next logical step was to tackle science. The whole change of career, becoming a nurse, blazing my own path thing was really going to require that at some point, I face my fear of all things scientific, so I decided to take Biology I at Camden County College. In my own scientific experiment, I thought if Bio I was too tough, I could always become an English teacher.
My introduction to Dr. Dan Flisser, the man who would be my Biology I teacher for the spring semester, was terrifying. He went over class rules, and the first one that stuck out was the bathroom policy. Basically, it was Don’t. For every minute that you are out at the bathroom, it will count against your absence allotment in his class. Ummm, I’m a nearly 50 year old women who has had three c-sections. Is he serious? Sit through a three hour class without going to the bathroom? Note to self – there will be no drinking of any kind allowed between January and May. Dehydration is your friend.
But I quickly realized that not only did he have an awesome sense of humor, but a real handle on the problem with a lot of young people. College isn’t serious to them. Who tells a professor that they are going to the bathroom, then comes back with doughnuts and coffee? Are they doing something different in the Mens room these days?
Dr. Flisser was an amazing professor. I learned enough in Bio I to get me an A in Oceanography, in the 98th percentile on my TEAS exam (the basic skills test required for nursing school admission), and I picked up more about chemistry in his class than in my prep for chemistry class. I have renewed courage to take on Anatomy and Physiology this summer (don’t get carried away – courage for me simply means that I have managed to control the volume of my knee knocking so it’s not a distraction in class). And I am so proud of myself for getting through, surviving, and succeeding.
In the words of some of my academic brethren who are reviewing their professors at www.ratemyprofessor.com – Dr. Flisser, you learned me good. If my keyboard could type a backwards N…..well, you know. You’d still be one of the best professors I’ve encountered in my many years of “going back” to college. I appreciate the values, the lessons, and the benefit of your knowledge and passion for the subject.
And I appreciate the A more than I could possibly tell you.