I’ve been teaching at UVU since January 2002, and it’s time for me to leave. I’ve actually been at UVU since 1992, when I started attending school as a non-traditional student. My academic advisor was Dawn Chase, and the first class I took was a Women’s Lit course from Karin Anderson. Since then I’ve praised UVU every chance I’ve had. Even after my graduation, with my AA, from UVU, my sojourn into BYU territory, and then to USU, I knew I’d be back to UVU, somewhere, somehow. So being asked to teach Introduction to Folklore, by Dept. Chair Paul Tanner, with the recommendation of Dawn, 18 months before I graduated, was a dream come true.
I’ve seen so many changes (like many of you), but more than that, I’ve seen constants. Every fall semester when I return to campus after a few months off, I look around and see the same students with the same issues, same dreams, same innocence, same drive. It’s almost a Tuck Everlasting scenario – time stands still while time marches on. UVU has been my security in so many ways; here I’ve developed from a curious hesitant student to a curious confident college professor. Here I honed my skills as a folklorist as well as taking advantage of many professional opportunities to present, write, and publish – all making me a better instructor. Steve Gibson’s patience with me as I journeyed through my cancer treatments was priceless, and I’ve appreciated Wioleta and Jerry cheerleading me and other adjuncts. Their support has been extremely valuable.
The 2016-2017 school year was phenomenal. I have always enjoyed teaching evening classes, and this year was no different. I felt like I was at the top of my teaching game. I gave my students my very very best, and they gave me their best. We had fun, we shared, we were vulnerable, and we learned – from me and each other, about culture, language, writing, life. And – the icing on my teaching profession cake has been seeing one of my first folklore students become a lecturer at UVU – Devin Patten; I could not ask for more.
And with this, I am ready to put my teaching aside and spend time with my other loves – husband, children and grandchildren, traveling, and chaplaincy at Utah Valley Hospital. I say good-bye with a heart full of gratitude; I appreciate your trust in me and my abilities. Here’s to looking forward.
Sincerely, Ronda Walker Weaver