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My Letter Referencing A Dead Man

Witnessing the research articles by the "conventional professors" nowadays stirred in me a sense of sympathy for the students that they taught … for their students were robbed the true value of education per se. The conventional professors are superficially polished in their language and their ego ... ironically they are dull in both intelligence … and wisdom. I strongly believed that "age does not necessitate corresponding wisdom … rather experiences and obstacles are catalysts transcending the naive into the wise. Based on the premises presented by these self-proclaimed "experts/professors", I questioned their fundamental understanding of science, life, or the working of the universe in general. In my firm belief … science, life, and the universe speak the language of "simplicity and love". Complicated and perplexing concepts in various disciplines like physics, chemistry, biology, medicine or even astrology indeed share the common theme of simplicity. Based on the Buddhist's teaching, one must get rid of the cloak of superficiality and get rid of one's ego … in order to seek the truth/intelligence … for they harbor in simplicity per se. For instance, a genius like Einstein could express one of the most powerful and fundamental principles of the universe in this simple yet profound equation … E = MC2.

These self proclaimed "professors and experts" made me miss my old college professors, as well as, my high school chemistry teacher. My high school teacher honored me with the "best chemistry student award". Nevertheless, I did not care to show up to receive the award, because I chose to use that time to work to help out my family. However, I have already received the real award … the honor of receiving an education from an unconventional teacher like him. The man made chemistry fun and he would break down complex concepts to simplest terms that every single students could understand. He and I became friends and he once told me, "he learned as much from me as I learned from him."

Similarly, my Organic chemistry professor back in college ... was "second to none" in respect to the integrity of his character and the quality of his teachings. Even for someone as dull as I am, he trained me so well that I scored 100% on my Medical College Admission Tests (MCAT) for the chemistry section … a nearly impossible feat! I later became his teaching assistant after graduation. Dr. C was a tall, strong, and scary looking man. He somewhat resembles Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein." He had a sense of humor that was rather "crude" ... he used to "weaved pun more extensive than the widow spider would weave her web per se."

Years ago, I used to go to the bookstores religiously. I'd study there or I'd enjoy my warm cup of coffee while listening to the ambient environment of soothing music. On one Saturday afternoon, as I was pulling out of the parking lot to go home from the bookstore ... suddenly, I saw a Lexus IS 250 (a sport car appropriate for a young man) with a much older man in his 70s ... banging on the window and driving rather recklessly that I thought he wanted to race! I was a bit agitated and I mumbled to myself, "This guy must be crazy". I thought that he was going to hit my old Honda Civic. On a second look, I realized that it was Dr. C. going out of his way to show his greeting to a "little guy" or a "no body" like me.

In retrospective, I am cognizant that Dr. C. was a man who taught his students and who lived his life. … without limit and without ego. According to Dr. C, there's no limit to learning; there's no limit to age; and there's no limit to love. Moreover, he believed that one should shed the burdening cloaks of superficiality and one should empty oneself of the ego … to save room for learning, happiness, and love, the love for knowledge, wisdom, oneself, and one's environment. Dr. C. has been the unknown professors who taught his students, who went on to become my professor in medical school. I now have taught my very own students who went on to accomplish far greater feats than I would have imagined possible. Nearly all of my students far exceeded me in the very skills that I taught them. They are a group of unconventional, atypical, and outliers … who will lead and carry the torch, one that was lit by the unconventional who walked this Earth before me.

It irritated me when the conventional professors bloviate non-sense and try to show intelligence (or rather lack of intelligence) by looking down on normal people like we all are. To honors great professors like Dr. C, as well as, my high school teacher, I will not write my article or publically "humiliate" these conventional professors … though I am well aware of the damaging effects that it would do to them when I exposed their cloaks. After all, Dr. C taught the value of forgiveness, love, and respect. Nevertheless, the phrase "respect has to earned" is indeed true, regardless whether one is a janitor or highly regarded professor … and these conventional professors and "self-proclaimed experts" have not earned my respect at all!

To Doctor C and to my high school chemistry teacher, I know that you are probably in heaven Dr. C and I bet that you would be smiling … to see how much I usually skipped your class and rarely show showed up in many other classes … and even though you nearly ran over my car…. I have yet forgot you! Moreover, as I sat here writing this letter after I read more than 100 pages of research report and ready to call the company the next day, being elated with my findings, my student TP is sitting next to me preparing for her test … I trained her to the very best that I could and I strongly believeed that she has far exceeded me.

Thank you Dr. C.

Hung V Tran, MD, MS