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Mandy Cook: That one teacher

by: MUN

As fate would have it, I was slotted into Dr. Noreen Golfman’s first-year English course as I began my university education at Memorial in the fall of 1994.

I purposefully use the word “fate” because if I hadn’t ended up in Dr. Golfman’s class, I would have continued along the science-based but ill-conceived path I had stubbornly chosen for myself.

Considering I had decided from a very young age that I would become a veterinarian when I grew up, a career in the arts never even crossed my mind. Sure, I consumed every book and newspaper and cereal box top I laid my eyes on, and always performed strongly in writing, but I thought pursuing a literature and language-based education would limit my career choices to a) a struggling author, b) a school teacher, or c) I didn’t know what else.

But as I attended one English class after another — learning how writers create works of literary greatness by mastering the tools of theme, character and syntax — I became completely enamoured with Dr. Golfman and her dazzling grasp on the subject. So, as I slaved over my papers and started pulling in one A grade after another – this, after a very rocky, barely-passing first effort at the beginning of term – I decided Dr. Golfman was my own personal spiritual leader (unbeknownst to her).

A cartoon-stars-in-my-eyes, platonic crush kind of thing. And when I looked down at my final paper in that classroom on the fourth floor of the Science building and saw her handwritten query, “Hope you’re thinking of majoring in English?” my mind was made up and my fate was sealed.

Check out the below video of Mandy chatting with Dr. Golfman:

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