If it so happens that Tom Stroik is in Kansas City (which he may not be), then I have on my list to hunt him down and — at the very least– have lunch with him, if not whiskey and ribs.
Yeah, teachers change our lives. We all remember that one “Dead Poets’ Society” prof who jumped on the desk while single-handedly taking a grip on your soul.
Well, that wasn’t exactly Tom Stroik. As a linguistics guy, he was more of a numbers person. Yeah, teaching English can be purely mathematical… if you look at it a certain way.
Tom was the chair of the department when I was teaching comp and earning my master’s. He got excited about language in thick and complex way that made you reach deep and question hard. As a rhetorician, I was in.
He also loved to talk about our golf swings in the department office, and remind me the importance of posing at the end of the swing as part of my follow through.
Tom’s a teacher, mentor, a feminist, and a friend. And I can’t wait to talk to him again.
This post is part of a 2018 December series called “Bridge to the New Year.” You can read more posts like these (not written by me but lots of other brilliant writers!) by following #BridgetotheNewYear). Be kind, and comment when you feel inspired!