The biggest lessons didn’t come from the classroom

By Anthony Navarrete, Staff Writer

Reflecting on my time at Newman, I’ve learned a lot of things. I learned that Freud had serious mommy issues. I learned there are a lot of theories of communication. I even learned about the ethics behind climate change. But some things I learned weren’t part of the syllabus.

I don’t know if they know it or not but while my professors were teaching me to transform society, in their own little ways, they transformed my life.

For starters Dr. Audrey Hane, who is arguably one of the best dressed on campus, is such an amazing woman to look up to. I’ve had the privilege of being in a number of her classes and she’s taught me so much about professionalism. She taught me the value of continuing to learn and grow as a person when she brought in articles about mindfulness. She also taught me it’s okay to have a little fun with my wardrobe.

I can honestly say my Spanish class did not deserve professor Sonja Bontrager, I mean profesora. She not only taught me Spanish, but she taught me to appreciate different cultures. She taught me it’s okay to fall on my face the first, second, and even third time at trying something new. The important thing is I’m doing it. I don’t know if she meant to, but she gave me a saying I found myself living by: “It’s not weird, it’s just different.”

Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente showed me how to tap into my creative side. She taught me to appreciate literature and how words can be a form of art. She showed me it’s okay to be vulnerable in front of people. She also taught me how to keep a plant alive (the amount of cacti I’ve killed is embarrassing) and things always taste a little better from your garden.

Denise Neil taught me it’s okay to feel myself, especially when I’m looking cute or whatever or did something awesome. She taught me not to take myself seriously and how useless the word “that” is. She taught me it’s ok to be authentically myself no matter where I am.

This list could go on and on- but my point is, this place not only gave me a degree, but gave me some valuable life lessons.