I reconnected with a former art school teacher the other day. I’ve tried to keep in touch with all of my old teachers, at least the ones still living.

They were my mentors, and they cared about teaching students to enter the field as professionals and to succeed.

He was at the top of the field then, an art director for a hugely famous magazine, and I took his class so that I could get closer to him as a connection and possible employer.

He was creative, kind and caring. At the end of the semester, he signed a magazine for me, “It’s been a real pleasure having you in my class and watching you totally miss the message.”

I laughed at the time and thought it was a joke. But he was serious and he was right. When I connected with him recently, I reminded him of what he wrote and thanked him for trying to give me a swift kick to wake me up.

“It didn’t sink in for many years,” I wrote, “but when it did, I realized the lesson you were trying to teach me, and it’s one of the reasons I have had a successful career.”

Published 8.3.2011 - Read more at Webdesignerdepot