Sunday, February 28, 2010

A visit from Dr. Wolfe

When I was an undergraduate at Pitt, they assigned each one of us an advisor. This advisor was supposed to sign off on what it was that we wanted to take, as well as offer us general life advice. My advisor was Harvey Wolfe.

Dr. Wolfe is a wise man -- the type of wisdom you don't always recognize or appreciate when you're 18 and you know everything. While I didn't dislike Dr. Wolfe, I didn't really identify with him and I would have in no way considered him warm or fuzzy or pivotal in my career choices or anything like that. However, Dr. Wolfe helped me to get a scholarship that allowed me to stay in school, and also gave me a job in his research team which I deeply appreciated. In that way, he was pivotal as he helped me to decide not to transfer away from Pitt and to a state school in Ohio. It was great.

Since I have been at my current job, I have had the chance to visit and interact with Dr. Wolfe a few times and, I have to say, I really like the guy now. I mean *REALLY* like him! He is kind and wise and just has such a broad, high level perspective that I appreciate (and for what it's worth tend to agree with) and I feel like such a pipsqueek for not recognizing and seeing this wisdom in my arrogant younger days. Bottom line: I'm a member of the Dr. Wolfe fan club, although I am sure I am not the inaugural member by any means.

Dr. Wolfe came to visit our department last week to help us improve the way we do things (again, he is generous with his time -- even though he is retired). The first thing he said to me was "WHERE DID YOU GO?!" It was the first time I've gotten such a nice/big complement since I've been on this WL journey and it felt fantastic (no, that is not why I love Dr. Wolfe -- I promise...but it did cement my place in his fan club). When he left, he told me to keep going and that I was doing a great job. It felt so good to hear him say that.

Before he left, I asked if he would take a picture with me and he generously agreed. I hope that I get to see Dr. Wolfe several more times. I enjoy each interaction with him more and more, and really appreciate his depth of wisdom.

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