I was literally telling myself that I have to take another of your sociology course in senior year or I would not graduate.
I always refer to you like this to people: Have you read “Tuesdays with Morrie”? Marc Steinberg is my Morrie.
But I don’t have Tuesdays with you in Wright Hall anymore.
You were my first advisor. You took me to the field of sociology. You literally emailed me after I spoke up in your class for the first time to say “congrats”. You wrote me long, long life advice when I went home after first year for the first time and had so much difficulty with reverse cultural shock. You told me about Statistical and Data Sciences when I decided to do STEM. You talked about Chinese politics and LGBTQ topics with me for hours during your sabbatical. You even recommended a therapist to me when I got so unprofessional and told you about my personal shit.
The last time we talked, I said to you, “I have met so many amazing, amazing advisors at Smith, but you are my one favorite.” And you said “You are a very sincere and authentic person. You are also one of my favorite students.”
On my way out from Wright Hall, I asked myself: how do I ever deserve MARC STEINBERG? How freaking lucky am I? How do I do to deserve him?
You made me who I am. You taught me to use my anger as motivation. You taught me to make real contributions to what I care about. You made me decide that fighting for those who cannot and fighting for the marginalized and fighting for my deeply-loved LGBTQ community is something I want to spend my entire life trying to do.
I love you so much. I thought I had to give you a big hug when I graduate, but I don’t have the chance anymore.
But I will be eternally grateful for having had you as a teacher, a mentor and an inspiration.
R.I.P. I will always always miss you.
p.s. First year I went to Marc’s office hour complaining (and crying) about not being able to speak out in class. He gave me some advice and encouraged me to do so. After I said something in class the second day, he emailed me: “Congratulations, you made several contributions in class yesterday! Let’s see if we can keep this going. Best, Marc”
p.p.s. First-year me was always very interested in his t-shirts and shamelessly took pictures of him in class (with consent).