During our Senior year in high school my BFF Crissy and I had big plans. We were both smart girls with good grades and acceptance letters to Berkeley, CSUN and UCSB between the 2 of us. We knew that UCSB was the right place for us. As the time grew near and reality of university life kicked in we both got cold feet and did one of those...
"If you go to community college, I'll go to community college"
And that's what we did and it was one of the best decisions we made. We spent 2 and a half years, very little money and transferred to UCSB with an AA degree under our belts.
But the best thing about Moorpark College was taking classes with Professor Sanchez. He was the Chicano Studies and US History teacher back in 1996-1998 when we attended. I must have taken every class I could from him. Of course I loved all the chicano history lectures, but what made Sanchez stand out from every other professor I ever had was his complete faith and support in my education. He told me (very often) that I belonged at a university. He believed in my as a students and gave me the confidence to not only transfer to a university but to excel there and to move on to graduate school.
A few weeks ago I got a text message from Crissy telling me that she had ran into Sanchez. I was so happy to hear it! I had lost track of his whereabouts years ago. She told me he had asked about me and gave me his email address. Last Friday schedules aligned and we were able to meet with Sanchez for breakfast. Over coffee and eggs we got to catch up with Sanchez. He has this incredible way of telling a story. It brought me back to those days where I would be sitting in his classroom, listening to him lecture and after awhile I would put my pen down, stop taking notes and just listen. The things he was saying were so important that I really needed to hear it and soak it in.
Of course at breakfast he didn't lecture on Chicano history, we talked about our lives and our struggles. Yet somehow Crissy and I walked away from it fulfilled. To me, big life lessons were taught to us that day. He gave us his insight and wisdom that only 63 years of life, 5 children, Grandchildren and losing your wife of 44 years can give you. He continues to be an inspiration in my life.
Our dear professor Sanchez, thank you so much for the talk and the breakfast.
For the many lectures and for the many more talks in the future.
You are a strong man and we will be forever grateful that we have you in our lives,
supporting us and encouraging us.