Pushed to My Potential


As an English major with a dream of becoming a doctor I was good in math and science but writing required a lot more effort. I had Professor Ruth Kivette for freshman English and then again for my senior seminar. Dr. Kivette refused to let me give in to my self-doubt. She demanded that I put forth my best effort in writing my senior thesis paper. I compared the Creation Story written in two books of Genesis with God's Trombones written by James Weldon Johnson. I remember being very angry with her for requiring me to go back to the library to get more supporting evidence for my paper. At that time I thought she was being mean and demanding more from me than she expected from my classmates, but after completing that paper I was able to graduate within 4 years although my mother died in December of my sophomore year. I instantly became head of a household with three younger siblings and continued to commute to school. I was a full time working two part time jobs, one that was in midtown Manhattan. With the support of the staff of the Higher Education Opportunity Program, Paulette Suber and great professors I realized that I was truly blessed to be a student at Barnard College.  I thank Dr. Kivette before leaving Barnard and have always encouraged my children and students to do their very best in all that they do.  I appreciate Dr. Kivette for seeing in me what I could not see in myself.