Elle knew she would meet interesting teachers when she went to college.
Maybe a teacher who would be a fantastic lecturer, and talk about all sorts of interesting facts. Or a weaselly teacher who would flirt with students. Or a teacher who sometimes wore costumes.
But she’d never heard of anyone quite like Dr. Byrd.
It was an English 101 class at Southern Adventist University. Pretty standard. On the first day, it was immediately clear that Dr. Byrd was no longer a spry woman. She was an older, conservative lady.
And as it turned out…Dr. Byrd had a thing about her syllabus.
When she changed anything in the syllabus, she didn’t send out emails to the class. She didn’t post it on the door, or write a quick note, or even just make a short announcement.
The first time Elle witnessed a change in the syllabus, she watched Dr. Byrd curiously. What is she doing?
Dr. Byrd stepped up to the desk, and with single-minded purpose, began moving everything out of the way. Books. Papers. Metaphorical apples. She stacked them all up beside the desk until the piece of furniture was absolutely clear.
And then she stood on the chair. And she climbed on top of the desk.
“Class!” she shouted, her voice booming. “There has been a change to the syllabus!” She put her hands behind her back and began stating, loud and clear, what the change to the syllabus had been.
And when she finished, she climbed down from the desk, moved everything back onto the table, and continued class just as it would normally run.
This happened seven more times throughout the course of the semester.
And while one of Elle’s friends took this to mean Dr. Byrd was scatterbrained, and actually dropped the class because of it—Elle loved Dr. Byrd. She was creative. She thought outside the box. And she obviously really cared about teaching.
Also, there was definitely a method to her madness…because when she made such a production out of syllabus changes, there was no way anybody could get away with claiming they didn’t know the change had been made.
Overall, she definitely left her mark on Elle’s educational experience.
And maybe there’s a chance she’s still at that school in the mountains, quite literally standing up for any change she chose to make to the syllabus.
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