An Open Letter to the Bryn Mawr Undergraduate Community:
I’m adding another tradition to our list! Please repeat after me, “Before I graduate, I will take at least one class with Ignacio Gallup-Diaz and Bridget Rose Nolan.” Ok- promise? I’m sure a lot of you have heard my rantings and ravings about both of these lovely professors, and if you haven’t, you haven’t been around me long enough.
Ignacio teaches within the History department, focusing on the early modern Atlantic world, colonial America, colonial Latin America, and Native American history. According to his biographical blurb on the history department website, his courses “explore how European conquest and settlement of the Americas, coupled with the forced migration of Africans and the continued presence of Amerindian communities, led to the evolution of complex societies.” But his courses do more than that! His courses give students the tools and the abilities to understand deeply complex situations in which oppression and opposition came together to interact within a specific time frame resulting in the historical narratives we have today. He also tells us fun cat stories when the days seem to never end. His most recent endeavor included making my entire class cups of tea. He likes to wear tweed suits, and he has a “Simpsons” chess board in his office.
Bridget, or an affectionate “Bri” under my breath and not in class, works in the sociology department. She has the capability to out smart someone into giving her their wallet and ATM pin, but choses to resist this, and instead uses her infinite wisdom to teach social behavior in society. I think she could probably kill me with a pen cap, but I don’t think she ever would. She works actively to tap into learning methods that are accessible for everyone in her class. She goes above and beyond what is expected of her as a professor, and tries her best to make sure that everyone has an access point in which to learn when they are her pupils. Although she is listed as Interim Faculty, I swear to GoOoOoOoOoOod if Bryn Mawr lets such an amazing professor slip through their hands the ground will open up and swallow this institution as a whole. In short, they need to give her a tenured position soon before another school snatches her up. She’s qualified up to her nose, and she even worked for some ~fancy~ places.
In short, if you see either of these two walking around campus you need to:
- Say “hello” and introduce yourself if you do not know them.
- Stare at them a bit and hope that you can absorb some of their intelligence.
- Alternatively if it is a bad day you can ask if they have any chocolate in their offices. Answer: yes. Yes they do. Ignacio may offer you some tea, whereas Bri may give you some vegan candies.
- Alternatively alternatively, if it is a BAD bad day, you can ask if they have any tissues at hand. Answer: Ignacio will have a handkerchief in his pocket, and Bri will lead you back to her office for the nice tissues with the quilts in them to collect whatever you produce after having a hard cry.
- Ask what classes they are teaching next term and how you can get into them.
- Leave the conversation a better person, with a new perspective on life, and a new pep in your step.
Trust me, you will not regret it.