Three days of suspense. What could our Torrey mentor possibly have to tell us that would require us all to meet him in a group at the end of the semester?
In the fall of 2008, we were excited freshmen forming bonds and figuring out what college and Torrey were all about. We grew to love each other dearly. We spent hours having our minds blown open by great ideas and picking up the pieces, not to mention more hours just being friends. We were eager to meet with our Torrey mentor to receive his guidance on this journey.
We were disappointed by the way he handled us. I’ll just say that he was more of an academician than a mentor and he was incredibly awkward in his attempts to get to know us better. He didn’t teach discussion-based classes well. Most of us retreated from him, going to office hours only as required and charting our own courses through school.
Things stayed the same for a couple of years, at least from my perspective. We complained about our mentor a lot. Some of us went to him with our complaints, and things started improving. At the end of the fall 2010 semester, we had the opportunity to submit anonymous online reviews of our experience with our mentor. A lot of anger went into them, from many students. Many of us have wanted to get him fired since the first year.
Things were better this semester. More of us worked out our problems with him. I didn’t, specifically, but our office hours were a lot smoother and I began liking him as a person. He got a promotion this year, and I was all set to spend my last semester in Torrey (!) under his mentorship.
Tonight my mentor convened his junior mentees–the first group of mentees he got, since he came in with us–and told us he was leaving Torrey. All the faculty have finally decided his gifts don’t fit a program like Torrey, although he’s not being fired. He’s moving across campus to another department where he can conduct lectures and teach missiology to his heart’s content.
I don’t know who started crying first, our mentor or one of us students, but soon half the room was in tears. It’s too late for us to feel vindicated by his departure. We have had to deal with him, grow up, and quit being brats. We have all been helped by him in some way (for some, his mentorship saved their faith) or learned something from him.
Torrey mentor, I was one of your staunchest enemies. And I owe you an apology. I will miss you.
Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.