Spring of 1991 I was a 26 year old transfer student. My first class was Classics 41—Survey of Latin Literature in Translation—with Professor Robert Gurval who was in his first year at UCLA. Currently the Chair of the UCLA Department, Professor Gurval was gracious enough to provide me guidance and encouragement upon my return to the university. I’m forever indebted to him for both his scholarship and friendship.
I had more courses with Professor Sarah Morris than any other professor during my academic career. Like Professor Gurval, she was one of my instructors during the early nineteen-nineties. The difference was that I also had one her courses (Classics 152A Ancient City: Greek World) in my final quarter of my return nineteen years later. Needing 'A' letter grades in both of my last two classes to pull my GPA up, I averaged four hours a sleep a night that last quarter. The studying paid off, I got an A+ in her class and an A in Professor Mellor’s History of the Roman Empire course.
Both Professor Mario Telò and the quality of my fellow students in the Fall 2013 Classics 191 Capstone Seminar (Greek Novel) were absolutely amazing. It was my first course upon returning to the university after eighteen years, and it was very challenging. Talk about reigniting my passion for academia. Reading and discussing Longus, Heliodorus, and Achilles Tatius was something very special. So was having UCSB’s Professor Helen Morales as a guest facilitator for one of our sessions.