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Pinch Me

"Limitations are often self imposed." unknown author
Today's entry is inspired by this quote and my recent visit to my undergrad alma mater.
Have you ever had those "pinch me" moments? Those experiences that you can't believe are real? I've lost count of how many of those moments I've had just this year, or, in the last few months.

This past Saturday I traveled home for a committee meeting at a place that I credit much of my happiness and success to. As I drove up the mountain to return to the campus of UVa-Wise, I couldn't hold back the smile that formed. It was homecoming weekend. The theme was "Dread the Red." And, I had on my red pants to show my support the Highland Cavaliers. When I saw the college entrance sign, I was flooded with memories of my college family.
That day, I saw many familiar faces, several of whom I consider influential to my recent "pinch me" moments. I just wish I could have seen others from my college family that I contribute my success to. Many are professors, others are college officials, some are friends, and one shares my heart. I want to acknowledge and thank these supporters for their words and actions that they may not know impacted my life in such profound ways. There are too many to list, but below are a few people that I immediately thought of this weekend.
But, first, let me share a bit about the amazing experience college is. My college years were when I became "me." I solidified values, understood variances, set and realized goals, was challenged to break down barriers, think critically, turn dreams into realities, and believe in myself. And, because of those years, I carry many titles that I'm proud of: wife, mentor, traveler, professional, academic, experiencer, advisor, and teacher. Because of those years, I "pinch" myself every time a student calls me "Mrs. Fannon" or asks for my advice, every time I see a picture from my time in Dubai or think of riding a 4-wheeler in a Middle Eastern desert, or every time I glance at my WVU diploma. As you may infer, being a college instructor is a dream come true and is a significant part of my identity.
So, to that list. Thank you for helping me to see that limitations are self imposed.
Mr. McNulty: A professor who taught "News Real" and told me that I have what it takes to be an academic. And, that he would be disappointed if I didn't pursue that path. I have his written message framed.
Dr. Tighe: THE professor! That's all I can say.
Mr. McGill: My undergraduate research project advisor.
Dr. Johnson: Former geology professor who made rocks fun. Class field trips are forever engraved in my memory.
And, a few more from my years working at the college: Ms. Steele, Mr. Necessary, Ms. Meade-Dean, Ms. Huffman, Mr. Wendle, Ms. Hale, Mr. Hagy, & Mr. Graham.
My parents: I never knew college was an option because of them. 
My husband: Sacrificing so I can live my dream.
Certainly, there are many others from my college years, and before and after, that I regard as influencers.
But, for now, GO CAVS!

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