“When I look at you, I have hope.”
2016: the last year attending a community college before I head towards a 4-year school. Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life I decided to go to Kingsborough Community College; few of my friends were going and I decided I’ll join them. I wasn’t big on grades, my G.P.A was average and my SAT score was low. I was never a study type unless it was something I loved. During High School, I enjoyed Computer Repairs. It was something I loved, but by the time I graduated, I didn’t want to continue. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life as an IT, there’s nothing wrong with being an IT, in fact, the way our world is going we should have more ITs, but the passion wasn’t there anymore. I decided to keep it as a hobby.
I enjoyed 2 years at KCC, I met some cool people, new friends, amazing professors, and had fun hanging out after classes. During my last year, I took three classes, one of them was an English course with one of my favorite professor, I won’t say his name but he had hair like Albert Einstein. I took a previous class of his, “Literature in Film” (at least from what I remember) he was very knowledgeable and hilarious, an easy-A professor.
I had him twice a week, and followed by his class was a poetry class, in the same room, so I didn’t have to leave I just chilled back and waited for my next professor to arrive. Usually, I have a chat with Einstein about the class lecture or random chit-chat to kill time. We would enjoy our conversations, it was always nice listening to his old stories about when he was young. One time he snuck into a junkyard with some of his friends so he could film a movie. He was a broke college student and where ever he was filming, apparently you had to pay. This one time he was almost drafted into the Vietnam War, even though he was disabled. He had a bad eye and a few other conditions, yet they still wanted to draft him in. He told stories about how New York was completely different when he was young. They were interesting stories.
The great part about him was he never belittled any one’s faith or belief, sure he made political jokes but who doesn’t. When Trump won, back in 2016 we had a student wearing a M.A.G.A cap, he congratulated him, and not in a sarcastic or condescending way he really meant it. He even told him to wear the M.A.G.A cap and not feel bad about it.
All the students can have open opinions on anything, He would accept us with no judgment and in one lecture he openly said that he would forgive anyone for their sins if they truly meant it. Everything except for pedophilia (understandable). Also, he mentioned this because we read Oedipus Rex.
He was an outstanding guy a true motivator, never did he had a boring lecture he was always jolly and he made the reading fun, and always made us have interesting conversations.
One day after class, we were having our usual discussion. I do not remember what it was, nor how we lead to a deep conversation but it ended with something he had told me that I will never forget. He looked at me
“I believe good will always triumph over evil. And when I look at you, I have hope.”
Stunned by his words; I was confused I thought I didn’t hear it right. Me? Or in general? I didn’t know how to respond. I just stood as he talked. Its not like in the movies where you hear the symphony orchestra play in the background. It was a regular conversation that I didn’t process. It happened so fast, there was no slow-mo, no long pauses, nothing. It was a regular conversation. Once he was done, he smiled and wished me a happy weekend. I went back to my desk, waited for my next teacher to arrive.
To this day I still deny it, maybe he’s talking about you as a general metaphor. I don’t think he meant me; maybe he didn’t and I took it too seriously. But, I want to take it personally; because that’s the most beautiful thing anyone has said to me. It wasn’t a friend, my parents, or a loved one. It was my professor, a teacher, someone who barely knew me but can see the good in people, see their potentials. He generally enjoyed teaching, of course these are assumptions and I don’t know him personally about his every life. However, I felt good vibes with him, he expressed hope that I could never have.
After leaving KCC I still think back about what he said to me and why? Rather or not he meant it for me, one thing was cleared; my future career will be teaching. I want to give students hope, the same hope that Professor Einstein gave to me, whatever is I want to do: I can do it.
No matter what.
And so can you!