Thursday, July 26, 2007

From Gordon Tapper

When she worked at ASE teaching English to UF's international graduate students Carolyn always seemed on the verge of smiling. Always. I mean always. When she smiled, usually accompanied by a totally disarming laugh, you just knew that you were in the presence of a fundamentally happy and very cool person. When I realized who her kids were, and then met her husband, I knew that this was the coolest family I had ever met. Carolyn brought all of that to her teaching and work at UF. Her students loved her. I know this because it is my job to read all of the end-of-semester teaching evaluations. Her students loved her -- a lot. While she was finishing up her MA in Linguistics Carolyn, somehow, took the time to expand the curriculum of every course that she taught. She always kept the big picture in mind. Often she would come to my office and say "how 'bout if we do it this way" or "Is it ok if I change this?" Her suggestions for improvement were always enlightened and I was always smart enough to accept her suggestions. As cool as New Mexico no doubt is, I am still sorry that Carolyn left Gainesville. As a teacher and colleague Carolyn is irreplaceable. As a beacon of laughter and joy she is a gift from god. When I think about who I want to be like when I grow up I think about Carolyn. She is an inspiration for the way we all ought to try to live our lives -- a beautiful, smiling, laughing, remarkable inspiration.

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