Day 245: Dr. Mendizábal

Some more homemade stationery and envelopes made from supplies from Paper Source.

Some more homemade stationery and envelopes made from supplies from Paper Source.

Today’s letter is for my all time favorite professor. I had a lot of flexibility in who I chose for my professors and I pretty much only took two – aside from professors I took while studying abroad – and Dr. Mendizábal was one of them. He was also the director of the study abroad program to Valladolid, Spain where I studied for a semester.

He’s since retired from teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I completed my undergraduate degree. It’s too bad too, because he was the best! My only regret is that sometimes I may have fallen asleep in his classes – not because they were boring or uninteresting, but he taught some early morning classes and I may have stayed up a bit too late on a few rare occasions!

Hopefully my Spanish is still good enough that I don’t embarrass myself.

Day245

(Translated from Spanish)

Dr. Mendizábal,

 I hope this letter finds you well and that you’ve had an enjoyable summer.

A few days ago I was reflecting on who have been the role models in my life and I thought about you. Without a doubt you were my favorite professor. Literature never interested me much, but as a result of your classes I gained an appreciation for it – especially the great writers from Spain and Latin America: Fernando de Rojas, Francisco de Quevedo, Cervantes, Zorrilla, Jiménez, Unamuno, Darío, Vargas Llosa, Pomba, Allende, Fuentes and obviously García Márquez.

I think my favorite class of yours was Short Stories – not because there were so few pages to read, but because of the mastery required to create such profound works in so few words fascinates me. 

I never heard you speak a negative word about anyone inside or outside of the classroom. It’s a characteristic that I greatly admire and strive to incorporate more in my own life. I admire you very much and wanted you to know that even 20 years after taking your classes, I think about you often.

Warm regards for you and your wife,
Reed Sandridge

P.S. A few months back I reconnected with my host family from Valladolid: Domi and Manuel Sánchez. They are all doing well.

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