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Classic Mixbook

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FC: With Deepest Thanks

1: While it is impossible to quantify the countless lives you've changed over the years, please accept this collection of memories, pictures, and words of thanks from friends, colleagues, and students in celebration of your upcoming retirement. We hope it provides a glimpse of the profound impact you've had on each person you've encountered throughout | your career. May it bless you in the same way you've blessed each of us.

2: Growing Up... (Left: Wilbert in the ROTC Below: Age 3, Age 8, and High School Graduation)

3: ...to become a teaching legend. | (From top: PhD graduation, college graduation, teaching in the 70s, and [right] on a trip to Indonesia)

4: Family

6: Crown College Honors Program

8: For seven years, it's been my privilege to work with Dr. Wilbert Ratledge, as my department chair and beloved colleague. Wilbert has always been a consummate professional educator and model for me, who was first, concerned with students and their learning, and second, had a heart for the institution, and how it was serving the real needs of its students. Wilbert, your life as an educator will always serve as an exemplar to me in how to make an impact on student's lives. Thank you for your commitment, faithfulness, and service to your students all of these years! Warmly, Craig Cook

9: Wilbert, Thank you for your many years of service to Crown students. You have demonstrated the love of Christ to everyone you meet, and I have seen His light shining through your life example. I will miss you here at Crown but I hope you will come to see us from time to time. May God richly bless you as you serve Him in the years ahead. Pam Pitts

10: Roger and I are happy to say that we know Wilbert. Even after Roger moved from Crown College to Moody Bible Institute, Wilbert would include Roger in the funny jokes that he would like to email. In helping Wilbert in the library, either with putting books on “Reserve” or just looking for something, it was always fun to hear about his trips and family. When Wilbert’s daughter, Beca attended Crown, she was hired to be a student worker in the library. Both Roger and I have been blessed by knowing Wilbert. Janet van Oosten

11: Dear Wilbert, You may be disappointed that the first thing I remember when I think of you is the blonde jokes you so generously shared with me while I was still at Crown! But I do fondly remember you for more than that, especially for appreciating my daughter almost as greatly I do. Because of who she is today, I know that you have been a great prof! Thanks for your | maaaaany years of investing in the lives of SO many young impressionable students for the greater good of the future of our country and Christian community! Very sincerely, with good wishes and prayers for an awesome long retirement, Rebecca Erickson

12: Dear Wilbert, You represent to me an ideal balance of academic expectation, godly example and supportive colleague. I remember my first meeting with you, in the parking lot of the Chaska theater. You asked if I could sub for you in Pentateuch. The thrill of teaching upper level students who had been conditioned (by you) to come to class prepared and ready to dig deeply into the Word was addicting. It helped confirm for me that this would be my life-long vocation and ministry. It also set a bar for me to strive for in my teaching. Most of all, you are an encouragement to me as you have guided me in my department leadership and course preparation toward the best of what Crown can and should be. Your influence will be felt for generations to come. Thank you Wilbert, Dean

13: Dear Wilbert: Thanks for being a great colleague at Crown and in our department. The high standards you maintained for your students continue as an encouragement to me to do better. Your energy is amazing. And we always know exactly your position on any issue that might arise! Especially in your on-again, off-again relationship with your computer, which often seemed to be sabotaging your efforts. I appreciate your work outside Crown also--at ParkSide, Westview Acres, mission trips, and opening your home to Super Bowl parties. And, of course, probably your best work has been making those beautiful grandchildren possible. We look forward to welcoming you back next year as Adjunct Ratedge, in this next phase of your career. Your friend, Bill Bedford

14: Dear Wilbert, We are so grateful that you and your family made that journey from Texas to spend these years ministering at Crown College. Early on, we learned to appreciate your concern for academic integrity and the scholarship that was reflected both in and beyond the classroom. Perhaps a fitting tribute is the description I have heard from many students who describe you as tough in the classroom, but with a big, generous heart. Thank you for your warm Christian spirit, your scholarship, and for standing with us as we have attempted to maintain a strong presence of biblical and theological education at Crown. God bless you as you continue to minister for Christ. Arnie Hustad

15: Wilbert, Congratulations on your retirement! I have very much appreciated working with you these past years. I have always admired your commitment to academic excellence by holding students to high standards. Also, there was always some comfort for me in knowing that there was someone besides myself who made use of the chalkboard. I know that it is not part of your DNA to retire completely. Admittedly, I feel some envy at your part-time status which enables you to be free of committee and faculty meetings. May you experience God’s richest blessing in your retirement years. George Gianoulis

16: I am blessed to know you, Wilbert! From the sharing of KwikTrip deals to your friendship with my husband Kevin to your critique help on the essay I wrote for a contest – and everything in between - you have been a good friend and great example to me of Godly servanthood. May the Lord bless your ‘retirement’ years! Cheryl Owczarek | Wilbert, you advocated for me to teach at Crown first as an adjunct and then as a full-time instructor. You encouraged and mentored me through each semester as I learned what it meant to teach literature from a biblical perspective. Your talent for teaching and vast knowledge has caused me to deepen my understanding of how philosophy, theology, and literature both teach and inspire students to pursue Christ with their heart and mind. I am grateful that my time as a novice instructor at Crown included time with you as my colleague. May God bless your new adventures in retirement. ~Casie Szalapski

17: Dear Wilbert, I understand you are "retiring." I DO NOT BELIEVE IT FOR A MINUTE. There is much left for you to do, I just think that you will be very busy but in a different venue. Plus, I am concerned about the English language beginning to fail without you there to keep guard. I know you will be missed in the Crown community. You have impacted so many lives over the years...including mine. May our dear Lord continue to bless and guide you, being a lamp unto your feet as you continue to serve Him. With respect, Al Prentice

18: Dear Dr. Ratledge, I just wanted to say thank you for the impact that you have had on my life and ministry through what you taught me in Writing and Literature a number of years ago. There are only two literary works that I remember from that course; “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Hemingway, and “Hard Times,” by Dickens. To me, both help to represent what I learned from you in the course I remember “Hills Like White Elephants” because no matter how hard I tried, I could not see the author’s message in the story. When you informed us that the couple in the story is contemplating an abortion, I remember thinking, “No way. I never would have come to that conclusion on my own.” I just couldn’t see it, and I was really shocked by it. Perhaps, that’s why I remember it. The other reason I remember it is because I also thought to myself, “There is no way that I will ever be successful in this class. I just don’t know how to get to the author’s real message.” The reason I remember “Hard Times,” is because that is the book that I chose to analyze for the final project. It was while reading that book (which was likely one of the first real books I had ever read in its entirety), that I began to be able to see beyond a surface level interpretation of the text to comprehend the authors message, how different elements of the book supported that message, and how to interpret what was really going on. Not only was the story a good story as it was presented on the page, but the message of the book was profound making it that much more exciting to read.

19: I mention these two works because they demonstrate the transformation that took place in my abilities because of your skillful instruction. Not only am I more able to read regular literary works in a more meaningful way, but the greatest benefit I gained from that course was really the ability to read, analyze and interpret the Bible. That course helped bring the Bible to life for me even though we were not studying it directly. When I have had opportunities to preach, and people compliment me on my ability to bring the Bible to life, I am always sure to point back to my Writing and Literature professor, Dr. Ratledge, who helped me to gain the basic skills to get beyond a face-value interpretation (what I think it says) to get to the true message that the author was conveying in his writings. I’m sure that I have never told you that in person, but I thank you for your investment in me. I believe that what you taught me has helped me to better fulfill the admonishment of 2 Timothy 2:15, to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Thank you again for your investment and God bless you, Rev. Jonathan P. Sutton

20: Dear Dr Ratledge, I will never forget my first class with you: Apologetics. And I'll never forget my first grade: C-. I had turned in a paper that I spent an hour or so on, and you made it clear that you would not tolerate that lack of effort. And it made me want to impress you. You were the first person who ever pushed me to be the best I could with anything more than a speech about my potential, and you kept pushing me all semester. Before you, I had no idea what it was like to try hard. I realized that I liked it. That class with you was the beginning of a paradigm shift in my attitude toward academics. It stuck with me through my MA program, and your voice is still in my head 10 years later as I start my dissertation in philosophy. When I was in high school, nobody would have believed I could do this; I have no doubt that without you I would not be where I am. Thank you for demanding more than I was willing to give. I will never forget it, and I hope to do the same for my own students some day. Sincerely, Bradley Rettler, Class of 2004

21: Dr. Ratledge, 20th Century Christian Thinkers was hands down the hardest class I had taken at Crown, but equally one of the most rewarding. I remember tossing and turning over whether I should take it. I am glad that I took the plunge! Thank you for challenging me everyday with the reading material and the discussions we would have in class. It was a great way to finish out my college career! Best wishes for you on your retirement! Jason Ingolfsland

22: Dr. Ratledge, Thank you for all your hard work as a professor at Crown College. Your Faith Integration seminar in the spring of 2007 really helped prepare me for a Master's curriculum and also taught me how to write a solid research paper. One of my fondest memories of that class was standing up front to read the introduction of my research paper. When I had finished reading, I nervously anticipated the constructive feedback that many of the other students had received before me, but instead, I was surprised to hear your numerous compliments about | my writing! When I sat down I was elated to have received such a positive reaction from you and it is a moment in my academic career that I will never forget. Thanks again for your instruction and your insight that spring. May God bless you and lead you in this next phase of your life! Many blessings, Daniel Adorno

23: Dear Dr. Ratledge, Thank you so much for your commitment to the students of Crown. Although I only had you for two classes, I remember them very well! My favorite class was the one where we read C. S. Lewis and Bonhoeffer (I don't remember the exact name of the class). I could see your passion for the texts and it inspired me to read more books in one semester than ever before! All incoming students were warned that Dr. Ratledge was | the hardest prof in the school, and I have to say you were -- but I am grateful for that challenge! If there was a class to take with you, I just did it because I wanted to prove to myself I could! You inspired your students to reach higher and accomplish more. Thank you & God bless you! Ariel (Grono) Adorno

24: Dr. Ratledge, I am really grateful that you served the Lord by teaching me how to develop a Biblical worldview, how to evaluate and respond to the worldviews of others and how to think critically about truth claims and their implications. You helped me develop habits of critical thinking and critical reading. And then, after Crown, when I was a teacher, I used some of the methods and tools that I gleaned from your courses—especially the “house of reality.” I endeavored to help my students develop a Biblical worldview and become critical thinkers. Your lessons from the early and later prophets about Israel’s unique role in God’s plan of salvation for the world have factored large in my decision to come to Israel and do a PhD in Middle East history. And finally, when I am making decisions that relate to life and godliness, I still hear your voice in my head saying, “wisdom is knowing the truth about the world and aligning oneself to it.” Thank you for serving the Lord. Chelsi Mueller, Class of 2002

25: Dr. Ratledge, thank you for all your years of service and educating us. Happy well-deserved retirement! Lord bless you with enjoyment and relaxation for all your days! Beau "BT" Hellam | Dr Ratledge, Thank you for pushing me to excel and question things and learn everything I can possibly learn. Thank you, also, for helping me learn when to step back when I've got too much on my plate {even if that meant becoming an honors program dropout :)}. You were a wonderful professor and I wish you and your wife nothing but the best as you prepare to move on to retirement Jennifer Karkula {Crown '08}

26: My thoughts about Dr. Ratledge: 3 words, 10 Page Papers. Haha, no really, I enjoyed learning from Dr. R. He is a brilliant man.! Hannah (Geddes) Laws | Dr. Ratledge, Praise be to Jesus Christ for your life and service. I was privileged to be one of your students. I learned and remembered many things you said and did. One of those things struck well with me: you mentioned once that in your younger days you were willing to the point of physically challenging a confused and dishonest individual who was attempting to corrupting your students with deceit and distorted messages. It was not the physical challenge that did matter to me, but the extent to which you were willing to go to defend the tender hearts of your students. I was encouraged to defend with my very life, sound teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ which I believed with all my heart. Thank you, and may the Lord bless and remember what you have committed unto Him Blessings in Jesus Christ, Yallah Kawala

27: Dear Dr. Ratledge, I remember how imitated I was when I first met you. As time went on though I am forever grateful that I had you as a teacher. You helped me push myself like no other teacher could. You were always willing to help as long as we students worked our hardest. When I went to your office for help you felt like a grandpa to me. One thing that I will miss is seeing the Godly faith that you had and still have as an example. Thank you for all that you did as a teacher and friend. You truly pushed me to be a better person and helped stretch my faith even further. May you have many blessed years ahead of you as you retire. Knowing you though you will still keep yourself busy as can be. Keep your eyes on Jesus always and see what exciting things that God has in store for you still. God is never finished with us until He calls us home or when He returns. You will be missed at Crown greatly by your past and current students and faculty. Your former student (2000-2005) Emily (Underwood) Pedersen

28: I have one memory I wanted to share about Dr. Ratledge. I took an English class with him in 2006 and he taught me what poetry was. You know, it has a specific meter, all of which have a name. As we were learning to identify the meter of certain poems in class, I discovered I could figure it out in my mind without doing it on paper. I didn't think it was a big deal, but one day after taking a short test on this, Dr. Ratledge announced to the whole class that "Mr. Naviaux doesn't even have to figure it out on paper (determine the meter of poetry), he can just think it through, now that's talent!" I share this not to toot my own horn, but because never in any academic setting had anyone, certainly a college professor, ever tell me I had talent or was gifted in any way. That simple statement he made in class impacted me deeply and means a lot to me to this day. I have since developed a love for poetry and find still enjoy figuring out the meter by sounding it out in my mind, and I also write poetry when it comes to me. There is also a phrase that Dr. Ratledge used to describe writing that students didn't put much thought behind, you know, to fill out a paper without much effort. That phrase is "insubstantial fluffy candy." I am far from the only former Dr. Ratledge student who still giggles when I think of that, I also use it often. Also, when I see cotton candy I immediately think of Dr. Ratledge. Thanks and God bless, Jim Naviaux

29: Dr. Ratledge, Thank you! Thank you for introducing me to the world of thought, to the realm of intellectual inquiry. Your investment in my life has made a huge and lasting difference! It opened up a whole new world I had not yet explored. I am still exploring that world today, years later. Thank you for being both a philosophy professor and a Christian, as so much philosophy is dominated by worldly principles and values. I appreciated every class I took from you. I took 6 classes--18 credits--from you, so sometimes I tell people, "I minored in Dr. Ratledge." I also appreciate the fact that we have been able to keep up some level of communication even after I finished Crown and moved away. May the Lord bless you abundantly in this new season of your life! With gratitude, Kaywin Bogle | Dr. Ratledge, Thank you for all your years of service and for caring as much as you do about your students. Your love and dedication was always apparent to us. I learned so much in Apologetics that I have still retained to this day. I enjoyed all our discussions and love all that I learned! Thank you! God Bless! Enjoy retirement! Shelly Clason Class of 2007

30: I very clearly remember my first few weeks at Crown College. As I began to make friends during the few days before classes began, the most popular topic was discussing which courses we are taking this semester. When I told others that I had English Composition II with Dr. Ratledge, the reaction was always the same: sympathetic grimaces and less than reassuring wishes of luck. My friends informed me that Dr. Ratledge was the most difficult teacher at Crown. I began to dread the first day of class with this professor whom everyone seemed determined to avoid. On the first day of English Composition II, a tall man with white hair, wearing a tweed coat and looking very professorish walked into the classroom. I remember he very clearly stated his expectations, grading elements, and other items from the syllabus. Looking back he didn’t say these things in a superior or demanding way, but rather in a manner that said he believed we were fully capable of meeting his standards and he was going to help us. I confess that the bar was pretty high; but I viewed it as a challenge to prove to myself what I could achieve. As the semester progressed, I quickly realized that this professor was going to be one of my favorites. The first paper was a source of great anxiety for me, for this was the first test of how close we would come to Dr. Ratledge’s standards. The paper was a book report, and mine was to be on The Professor’s House by Willa Cather – an author I had never heard of before and a book I had no interest in. Not only that, but I had never before written a book report in the manner Dr. Ratledge required. Complicated character analyses, identifying literary elements, such as dénouement, that were previously unknown to me, and discussing how the author’s life influenced the story were a completely new realm of study. After a great deal of work and stress, I turned in my report and resigned myself to my fate. To my astonishment, my character analysis, which had given me the most grief, was exactly what Dr. Ratledge was looking for and had earned a perfect score. That was more than I had ever dreamed to receive. I was filled with a great sense of achievement. I had pushed myself to do better than what I had previously believed was my best.

31: Dr. Ratledge - Thank you for all you taught me about Shakespeare, British Literature and Christian Literature. You always had a way of making me feel bright and smart. I really enjoyed you and your personality. I have now been an English/Language Arts teacher myself for 7 years and enjoy it very much. I hope to touch many lives just as you have. Enjoy your retirement and God bless you and your family. Best Wishes. Love, Jessie 'Muske' Rowles (2004). | From then on, whenever a class was offered with several professors I always chose the one taught by Dr. Ratledge. I knew I would not only learn a great deal about the subject being taught, but I would also learn something about myself. Dr. Ratledge, I can honestly say you are my favorite professor. Thank you for challenging me to never be satisfied with “good enough,” and to always strive for excellence. Even while writing this I have gone back several times to do just that! Thank you also for your kindness during the semester I struggled with the illness and death of my mother. (I’m still not entirely convinced I deserved such a high grade on my Macbeth report!) Thank you for encouraging me to push beyond my preconceived limits and discover new possibilities of what I can achieve. God’s blessings, Jennifer Gregg Neve, Crown College Graduating Class of 2001

32: Dr. Ratledge was a professor who I honestly avoided taking courses with due to some students telling me how “tough” of a professor he was. I was able to avoid him until my senior year at Crown. I ended up having to take not one, but TWO classes with him. I was nervous going into those classes, but, by the end of the semester realized what a blessing his classes were, and what a blessing he was! I took Apologetics with him, for example, and he pushed me continually throughout the course; he pushed me to write better. He pushed me to articulate better. He inspired me to really understand my faith, inside and out, and it was through his class that I realized we do not need to apologize, as Christians, for our faith. We are not the ones who live our lives based on loose evidence for our existence. His teaching prepared me at the perfect time to have effective, intellectual discussions with those who had serious doubts about God, and Christianity. It gave me a new passion when it came to sharing the Gospel. To be honest, I took the course almost ten years ago, and I still use his course materials to this day, whether it be for my youth group, or for my children. I want Dr. Ratledge to know that I have a deep respect for him as a person, and a great admiration for his passion for God, and for students. I wish him all the best in this new phase of his life. Sincerely, Nate Erickson

33: Dr. Ratledge was at first very intimidating to me when I came to Crown. I ended up taking Christian Literary Classics & Apologetics with him. Our Christian Lit Class was in old classroom G, a room that had no windows. The class itself was phenomenal & I was grateful for the insight that Dr. Ratledge gave to all of us. One funny story I do have from that class was when he forgot I was in the room taking an exam. Our class was right before Chapel and we had an exam. As with all his classes he had us spread out around the room. I ended up in the farthest part of the room taking my exam. Before I was finished Dr. Ratledge looked up and apparently did not see me as I was the last one taking it and got up, left the room and turned out the light! Needless to say I had stumbled my way through the class room to turn on the light, finished the exam and slid it under his office door with a note promising I had not cheated. I was afraid I would be in huge trouble, but it turned out he was more embarrassed about the whole thing. We had a good laugh & have enjoyed the joke through out the rest of my years at Crown. Dr. Ratledge you will be missed. Thank you for all that you have done for your students! ~Sincerely, Jen (Weidenaar) Henely | Dr. Ratledge, Even though I never actually had you as a professor at Crown, you treated me with kindness and sincerity. Thank you for the insights and help you gave me while looking into getting a job in Russia! I appreciate your wisdom and admire your love for the Lord and desire to continue to serve Him whenever you can (i.e. during your summer break). You will be greatly missed at Crown! May God bless you with rest, refreshment and new travel adventures during this next phase of your life! With Blessings, ~Elizabeth (Glewwe) Morozov

34: No other professor had such a lasting, direct impact on my academic success during college, and I expect many would say the same thing. Dr. Ratledge always held us to high expectations – and in return, gave the support we needed to meet them. We had to constantly stay out of the tule weeds and keep from stultifying ourselves, which is no easy task for a college student. We learned to define our terms, divide our theses, and band together in hearty study groups to survive. It’s amazing what expectations can do when they are joined by genuine care and support. It was as though the saying was turned around; that because much was expected, much was given. I want Dr. Ratledge to know that I am grateful for his expectations and support – whether I needed one or the other, with him I was guaranteed both. - Stephen Hubka, ‘04

35: Dr. Ratledge, From the very first phone call with you (convincing me to join the Honors Program) to making it through seven of your classes, you were the single most influential professor in my time as a Crown student. I was frightened by your quizzes and grading in red ink, but I would take all seven classes with you over again (except maybe History of Modern Western Thought...)! Through high standards and genuine care, you pushed my thinking and learning to a level I had no idea I was capable of. I will never forget the time you sat me down as a sophomore and asked what was going on that had me doing so poorly in class. In that moment, I knew you didn't just care about my grades but you cared about me as a person. The time I spent learning from you is irreplaceable. Thank you for your dedication not only to me, but to so many students before and after me; you will never understand the depth of your impact on our lives. May God give you the deepest joy and blessing in the years to come! With a grateful heart, Monika (Grefe) Hubka

36: Dr. Ratledge: You had a profound impact on me. You cultivated a love of literature, deepened my awareness of God’s presence through the revelation of classic texts, and prompted and enabled my mind to think critically about issues. You will forever be well loved by me. Thanks for contributing so much to make us all sharper, wiser, more gracious, God-honoring individuals. Christina (Gianoulis) Johnson, 2006. | Dr. Ratledge, you have inspired me to deeper thinking and encouraged my passion for learning. I have treasured memories from my times in your classes and under your guidance. Thank you for the impact that you made in my life and know that your impact is being spread as I strive to serve others and raise a Godly family. - Brittany "Karsjens" Schulz

37: Dr. Ratledge, I just wanted to express my appreciation for the hard work and effort you put into your work at Crown and for the deep care and concern you show for your students. I'm thankful for being able to have taken Critical Thinking and Writing from you and I am a better communicator because of what I learned in your course. I'm also grateful that you were a compassionate professor who was always willing to listen. Wishing you all the best in your retirement! Very sincerely, Krista (Erickson) Hall

38: The single quote I think of most often is from Critical Thinking & Writing when Dr. Ratledge was asking yet another one of his feared questions. Apparently Sherri was struggling with it when he said, "Someone get Sherri a back-hoe because she has worn out two shovels digging herself a hole already." At least it was something like that. Of course there are all the "lost in the tooley weeds" comments. Not that I have any idea what that is or how it is even spelled, I know it was not where I wanted to be.

39: Dr. Ratledge liked skiing and was always interested in honors program ski trips. I think we did at least a couple of those. I also went skiing with him on my own once. I was coming back from a break and met up with him (along with my brother and his friend) at Afton Alps for the afternoon. I wish I could remember what we talked about on the chair lift. I'm certain that no other professor in my college career had quite the same impact on my time in school, if not my life. From discussions of worldviews and epistemology to reading Colson and Chesterton. Dr. Ratledge's standards were high and he expected everything you were capable of. He was also willing to show grace in the right circumstances, something I needed more than once. My first all-nighter (or at least close to it) was for a Ratledge paper. It would not be the last. Thank you Dr. Ratledge for investing in so many lives over the years. My own life is better for having had you as a professor. Nathan Duerkop

40: Dr. Ratledge, Even though I've always had a deep appreciation for the challenging education you offered me (I don't think I went a single semester without taking at least one class with you) as well as your investment in the development of my character, now that I'm an English professor myself, I'm thankful for so much more. Now I realize that being the "hardest prof at Crown" probably came with a lot of hard choices. Now I know that when I came to you sobbing that I lost my paper the night before it was due, after working on it for days, the easy thing to do would have been for you to say, "Oh, just take a 2-day extension." Instead, you said, "Well, I guess you better go start over because it's due tomorrow at 8am." And that's what I did. I started over right away, and my paper was better for it. So was I. In that moment, you taught me diligence and perseverance, when you could have taught me that as long as I have a good excuse it's okay to fall short. Now I know that when you refused to accept my very first college essay because I folded the corners over instead of stapling it properly, the easy thing would have been to say, "That's okay, just remember next time." Instead, I had to wait until the next class period and received a late grade. In that moment, you taught me to pay attention to details and always do what's asked of me, when you could have taught me that it's fine to give in to laziness.

41: And now I know that when I froze in the line of questioning during class, the easy thing would have been to provide the answer for me or coddle my self esteem. Instead, you usually said, "Well, I guess Miss Erickson was not prepared for class today." In that moment you taught me not only to always be prepared, but also that every moment in life is an opportunity for critical thinking; to never exist passively. You could have taught me that I don't need to consider the tough questions if I'm not up to it. Because of you, I know the tremendous responsibility that comes with teaching because I saw you choose to do the hard thing over and over in these critical moments, and I became a stronger, smarter, and more capable person from it. I think of you when I'm tempted to go easy on my students, knowing that had you gone easy on me, I would not be who I am today. In your classroom I learned to think. Watching you, I learned to teach. Your example proved to me that it's possible to be uncompromising in your standards for students, while simultaneously demonstrating love and compassion. | I can never repay you for what you've given me. The best I can do is say thank you, and hope that you know how many others feel this same debt of gratitude for investing in our lives. With deepest respect, Lynnea (Erickson) Sundman

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  • Title: Classic Mixbook
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