My Favourite

Thursday, November 23, 2006
This is Raymond J. LeBlanc. He was my favourite professor while I was a student at the University of Alberta. I had three classes with him over the course of my academic career and I received 8's (out of a 9 point scale...yes our university was odd) in all three of them: Stone Tools, North American Prehistory, and Archaeological Methods. Gee...I wonder where my focus was?

Ray is a great professor. He loves what he does, both in the classroom and in the field. His were the few classes that I tried to never miss (ie: no skipping). He cares about his students and tries to do whatever he can to help them. Just before I graduated, he and I had a big discussion about grad school. Ray had some great suggestions, including that I should apply to Memorial (NFLD) where he had done his Masters. I never applied for grad school. My marks were, unfortunately not as high as many of the schools I wanted to attend would have preferred and I was unsure (and still am) about what I wanted to do. Ray was surprised when I told him about my marks as I had always done really well in his classes. However, during my first year I had failed two classes and was required to withdraw. Once I returned, my first year back was much better but still average. It wasn't until my final two years that I really became interested in what I was learning but by then, I would have had to pull off all 8's or at least another 9 (I received one perfect mark in MesoAmerican History - I'm awesome!).

Thanks to reading the blogs of people such as Martin and Alun, and emails back and forth with some of my fellow graduates/field school chums, only one of whom is still in the field (Alvaro is currently at the University of Durham doing his Ph.d. in Palaeopathology...I think?), the thought of going back to school has once again reared it's ugly head. However, there's still the problems of (a) my marks, (b) finding three people to write supportive letters of recommendation (I'm sure Ray would still say yes), (c) trying to figure out what the hell I'd like to do, and of course (d) money. It's going to take a while to pay off my student loan from my B.A. Unless I win the lottery (note to self: buy a ticket), there's no way I could afford to take out another loan. It's not as though I'm unhappy with what I'm currently doing, I just miss it. Ah well, perhaps an evening class or two?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

He DOES look like Santa Claus!

I still fondly remember RJ Parker, the best professor I ever had. Wee Scottish fellow who single-handedly cured me of my math phobia.

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