“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”- Proverbs 16:24

I am happily (finally) almost finished with my Bachelor of Science degree (Behavior and Occupation Studies, minoring in Psychology). I have done it all online through the University of Cincinnati, who offers a program designed specifically for working COTAs (Occupational Therapy Assistants).

Has anyone told you recently that they are proud of you? It makes you feel empowered, lifts you up, and makes you want to continue to work hard and pursue your goals. Some people think the world is going to ‘hell in a handbasket’. I like to think otherwise. There is still so much good happening all around us, every day, if we choose to see it.

I wanted to shine a spotlight on a particularly special professor, who I happen to have this current (and last) semester, in a Cognition and Learning (Psychology) class– Dr. Tillman.

If you’ve ever been in an online learning environment, you know how disconnected you can feel at times. Never seeing anyone face-to-face and learning materials on your own can be a challenge. It’s easy to get lost in the masses of students who take online courses each semester. Even if you are in a classroom setting, sometimes you may feel like just another face in the crowd.

At the beginning of the semester as I was working through going into all the posts, syllabi, and becoming acquainted with the courses, I got a sense of feeling overwhelmed (which is typical for me at the beginning of each semester). I’ve also been going through some personally challenging times, so I was just feeling the weight of it all. I scrolled through the Cognition and Learning materials, and came across a video posted by Dr. Tillman entitled ‘Proud’. In the 1 minute 19 second video, I was immediately, completely and happily uplifted. I was surprised to see myself becoming a bit teary-eyed.

Dr. Tillman simply said in his video: “I want to tell you something- I am proud of you.” Although we had never met, those words hit me like a ton of bricks. This professor, whom I’d never met, is sincerely expressing that he is proud of me. He goes on to say: “You’re here, and that means you’ve overcome a lot.” And.. that we have done something right. And.. that our success means a great deal to him.

Up until this point, I had only had one other professor say she was proud of us. It made me want to work harder in her class, do my absolute best (not just for her, but for myself). The same has been true for Dr. Tillman’s class. Whenever I’m completing an assignment, or studying for a quiz or test, I hear his voice in my head saying “I’m proud of you.” What a wonderful gift to give your students. Affirming for them that they are important and worthy of praise. Thank YOU Dr. Tillman. I will never forget it.

How beautiful it is to be able to uplift one another. Sometimes we have difficulty expressing it to others, due to pride or other issues (that are usually our own problems we need to work out within ourselves). Who can you encourage today? 🙂

Keep loving and learning!


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