Put on Your Kid Gloves

This is my first year attending UC San Diego as a transfer student, and I find that I am still trying to navigate my way through. Starting a new school is always scary; you have to make new friends, meet new professors and locate the best places to get coffee. Connecting  with a professor is rewarding because you gain a deeper appreciation for one another.

I have been lucky enough to meet a literature professor who makes me want to go to class. That sentence sounds bad, but there are some classes that are less enjoyable than others. This professor makes class fun in such a way that we remember the lessons taught that day, and that is a rare thing to find. We are all so focused on just getting in, finishing our degree, and saying duces to the life we are leaving behind that we forget to appreciate the ones who have helped us get through the last four years.

For those of you who are literature majors, or even those who are interested in literature, Professor Margaret A. Loose is someone worth getting to know. Sitting in her classroom, I can feel the passion she has for literature as it flows through my veins during her lectures; it is too precious to forget. Her lectures are special because of the way she puts herself into the stories of the characters we read. I understand the readings better because of how real and truthful she is. I can relate to her.

When I first stepped into her office, I was out of breath from all the stairs I had just taken — it never occured to me to take the elevator — but seeing her tower of books with interesting titles was so inviting. It was as if I belonged there among her shelves. She is always very welcoming with her smile; she makes it difficult to remember that she is my professor, and I must treat her as such. She speaks to students as though they are friends, which makes it easy to speak to her about anything. Professor Loose is a literature professor with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. However, she used to be a pre-med student. Her major before literature was biology, and she took one literature course just for fun. After that, she fell in love with it and like that, her major went from biology to literature. She teaches literature classes as well as a senior seminar for literature majors.

She teaches Victorian Literature which deals with the years between 1837-1901, and I was very interested to know which character from that time period she was most drawn to.

“I think it would be, ‘Who would you most like to be?’ Aurora Leigh. She is the title character of Elizabeth Barrett Browning; she’s smart, self-confident, and a poet,” Loose said.

I also wanted to get a sense of how she felt about her college self and if she would’ve done anything differently as she looked back on her past. She said, “Don’t panic about your uncertainty.” I felt that was very reassuring because she let me know that she had taken a break from school because she was still unsure about what path to take. “Literature transforms you, it makes you see the world in a different way, and I was noticing that I was being nicer to my mom. I wasn’t so judgemental about everything around me. These books were about me!” Professor Loose said. She had connected with literature, and I thought that was very powerful. I admire how strong she was as she told me her true thoughts.

“Be kind. Think about everything else that lies behind the person who is looking back at you in the mirror. Be patient. Recognize that we are all vulnerable; put on your kid gloves. You can’t control a lot of what happens, but you have control in how you respond and react. Be happy.”

Professor Loose loves her job and you can see that just by sitting in her classroom. The interactions she has with her students as well as her lectures grab hold of students because she is sharing her life with all of us as she speaks. In addition, I have also met great classmates. College is where you meet those friends who will stay forever, and I am grateful to the ones that I have made as they have guided me, influenced me, and shaped me into the scholar I am today. In this chaotic world, we need a little guidance and I appreciate my classmate, Senior Jaqueline Esquivel, for taking the time to share her thoughts.

Jackie is an English major who will be graduating this Spring Quarter with a Bachelor of Arts and will be continuing her education here at UC San Diego. She lives on campus and takes courses at Mesa College to reach her graduation requirements. Speaking with her and getting to know her background just shows me how strong of a woman she is. She is working hard to reach her end goal but also informed me to have fun during the process. She said that her favorite part of UCSD are the professors, both from the literature department and the education department.

“They’ve taught me to think with deep criticism and analyze the world around me in a new way. I want to become a teacher, and UCSD has an amazing education studies department that centers around diversity in education and a great masters in teaching program as well!,” she said.

The motivation behind her, is her mother, because of the hard work and dedication she portrays. I believe her mother is immensely proud of her.

“I’ve faced many obstacles that could have prevented me from being where I am. Nevertheless, I have persisted and learned many things in the process.”

I am forever in the debt of these wonderful ladies who took the time to share their stories with me. Thank you, and good luck Tritons. There are no obstacles that we can’t overcome and I feel as though their stories can help each one of us reach our end goal.