I have been blessed with some wonderful teachers over the years. One that truly stands out in the crowd is Dr. Mary Murdock, associate professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College. Mary passed away earlier this week at the age of 62, and she will be deeply missed by her many colleagues and students, whom she considered "her family."
The Buffalo News published a very nice tribute to her this week. In it, they noted her many contributions to the field of creativity, of which she was a pioneer and international leader. Indeed, she taught me much about creativity. But I also learned much from her about teaching--she was generous with her knowledge, shared more practical ideas and tips in a day than most teachers share in a semester, and was a living example of how to engage students in the learning process. And she taught her students about living graciously and creatively--making the most of every day, despite challenges and disappointments.
During her final days back home in North Carolina, messages flooded in to her from around the world. They came via email, text and facebook. It is my understanding that they were all read to her, and that she delighted in that.
Just as so many were moved by "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, I was blessed to be a student in Mary's "Last Class" at Buffalo State this past summer. It was an amazing experience. I will carry her teachings and memory with me always.