I first knocked on Dr. Mary Brady’s office door unsure of what to expect. She had been assigned my faculty adviser for English, and although I had already been warned that she was quite the character, nothing could have prepared me for the whirlwind that was Brady.
After a minute of knocking, she whipped the door open, I introduced myself and she said, “So you want to be an English major? Good luck.”
She laughed loudly at this as I sat down. Her office was crammed full of books and carried a faint smell of cigarette smoke she must have been quickly trying to diffuse when I knocked.
Brady then began firing questions at me so rapidly that I stared at her dumbfounded while trying to keep up.
What classes did I want to take? Was there a literary time period I preferred? Did I feel prepared for English orals? English orals would be there before I knew it, she assured me.
While I stuttered my answers, more than one student wandered in for a quick chat or to tell her something amusing so she would laugh. After a good chuckle with one student, she abruptly yelled, “Leave now; you’re scaring the poor girl! We don’t want to scare her off just yet!”
Turning back to me with a crocodilian smile, she continued the enthusiastic questioning.
Ever since our first meeting, I have looked up to her as a role model who taught with humor and a fiery passion that made me excited to go to class. In the end, she taught me not just about the subject matter at hand, but to think for myself.
Brady, thank you for always caring. I miss you.