Moment of Gratitude

Professor George W. Bergstrom Jr.

Dr. George W. Bergstrom Jr.

SDSU

As an extension program student, I had to show up to the first days of classes each semester and cajole the professors to sign a form to let me enroll since I was not matriculated in the university. I would audit 10–15 classes to determine which would be the most interesting. I was always successful at getting the needed signature since I think the professors were inclined to welcome a student who made a passionate case for why they wanted to be there versus so many other students who slouched in chairs at the back of the room. It was a fun process to determine which classes I wanted to take and I did not mind being a teacher’s pet to study with the professors who interested me.

Post-SDSU Friendship

We stayed in touch after I decided to take classes at Grossmont Community College, UCSD, and USD. I never returned to SDSU once I had studied with the professors who seemed interesting. He was exceptionally proud when I decided to go to Oxford in a study abroad program, which he was affiliated with, and then even more so when I talked my way into matriculating at Magdalen College and living in-college across the River Cherwell from the deer park.

Changing Course

I decided not to go to any of the programs. I secured one-year deferments so that I could work in the Bush Administration and thereafter I chose to get an MBA rather than a PhD. I am glad that I did not pursue a doctorate but I felt ashamed that I had wasted so much of Professor Bergstrom’s time.

Today

This morning, I meditated about the warm feelings from his compassion and generosity. It was wonderful to think of him again. I also find it interesting that my unconscious mind surfaced an occasion for which I can palpably feel his support but for which I am also carrying shame about the fact that I wasted his time and then disappeared. My guess is that he would have enthusiastically supported the direction I chose and would have continued to support me but I did not give him or me that opportunity.

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Curious listener, traveler, lover and creator.

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