From Reader to Teacher
To some students, books are burdens--torture devices used by teachers to keep students focused. But not to Tyler--to him, they are carriers of wisdom and some of his best friends.
Sitting in a room surrounded by other anxious, high school seniors, Tyler began his Baylor experience at Spring Premiere by hearing the words of Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray, associate professor of Medieval Literature and French in the Honors College.
"Her words resonated with the very passion I already felt: the exploration through literature for answers to the question of what it means to be human," Tyler recalls.
During his freshman year at Baylor, Tyler wasted no time diving right into the study of literature, theology and philosophy. Every book, every novel, every great text he read was a window that showed him a different way to see the world and himself.
The person Tyler is today, however, cannot only be attributed to Socrates, Dante and Dorian Gray. The path of literature is one he did not walk alone.
"It is one thing to study medieval French literature from a textbook, yet it is an entirely different thing to study it under a professor who was raised in France--and moreover, what a thing it is to stand alongside this professor before the façade of Chartres Cathedral and witness for yourself medieval literature bear witness in stone!" Tyler exclaimed.
Guided by experts in their subject, Tyler was able to have first-hand accounts of the descriptions in his great texts. It was as if the moment he stepped into a classroom a whole new place was opened up for him to explore.
Yearning to go even deeper into the literature and himself, Tyler was selected among an elite group of students to participate in Crane Scholars, where professors opened their homes--and their minds--so students would have an environment to discuss the connections between faith and learning.
"There is a crisis in higher education for more critically-minded professors, like those at Baylor, who invest their careers in teaching young, aspiring minds to be better readers to become better people," Tyler said. Shaped by a passion for great literature and the mentoring of dedicated professors, Tyler is determined to become a professor himself.
"By leading other students along the path that mentors have led me, I will perpetuate the most important lesson I have learned at Baylor: no matter how different we all may be, from Dakar to London all the way to Waco, Texas, the shortest distance between two people is a story."