KCC FACULTY ON TEACHING

Jessica Corbin

How did you get into teaching?
The first time I ever taught was my senior year of college, when a friend of mine went on tour and needed someone to take over his studio of piano students. I never really considered teaching before this because I was sure it wasn’t at all what I wanted to do. Turns out, I was 100% wrong about that.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
Honestly – I really had no idea. I thought maybe playing piano for theatre or being in a band. I also considered church musician or conductor. (And I’ve actually been lucky enough to do all of those things!)

What do you love about teaching?
I love when I can see the light bulb go on in a student’s eyes, when they really “get it” for the first time. I also love the discussions that happen in the classroom, when students are listening to each other and feel free to share with each other.

What’s your favorite teaching experience? One of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had as a teacher was when I wasn’t actually teaching per se, but when I brought in a percussion ensemble to play for my students at the Maryland School for the Blind. (This school served students who are blind or low vision, including those with multiple disabilities.) At the performance/workshop, the students were clapping, dancing, and so full of joy at listening to this live music. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, and I still remember that feeling 25 years later.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
My entire professional life has required adopting quite a lot of “go with the flow” mindset, but at the same time cultivating my ideas and allowing them to take root. I try to do this same thing in the classroom. I always (usually) have plans, but then sometimes things can take a left turn due to students’ interests and experience. I always want to hear and help cultivate their ideas, too.

What advice do you have for current students?
Listen to your instincts and pay attention to your mental health. We often know inside what is best for us, and what path to start walking down. Listen to advice from others, but you don’t always have to follow it – including this advice!

Sherrye GlaserHow did you get into teaching?
I began my teaching career as a medical researcher mentoring students in a laboratory. I found it very rewarding to transfer my skills and knowledge to the next generation of scientists. Inspired by this experience, I began a fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop my pedagogical skills. The fellowship led to me teaching undergraduate neurobiology at Stony Brook University. I discovered that I loved to teach. I eventually shifted my career focus from research to teaching and subsequently accepted a position in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kingsborough.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
I began my undergraduate experience as a pre-med student at Stony Brook University. During those four years, I decided to pursue a career in research. I continued my academics and earned my PhD in molecular biology. My research career focused on neuropharmacology – the study of the effects of drugs on and in the nervous system – and stretched 12 years at both the Center of Translational Neuroimaging at Brookhaven National Lab and Stony Brook University.

What do you love about teaching?
The students at Kingsborough are a remarkable group. The diversity of our student body could only be found in Brooklyn. It is wonderful to have the class generously share their personal experiences and heritage with the class. There is a sense of community at the College that is not often felt in academic institutions. It is heartwarming to see students complete their academic goals and blossom into professionals.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?
The most fulfilling part of teaching is seeing students develop an inner confidence and overcome personal obstacles. Students often arrive at Kingsborough feeling a bit unsure of their abilities. For some, English is a second language. Others are challenged by learning disabilities. It is phenomenal to watch students tackle and overcome these challenges.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Prior to becoming a professional scientist and educator, I spent many years as a “professional student.” I remember the mistakes I made while pursuing my academics. I often share with students what I learned, giving them tips on note taking, organizing their schedule, staying resilient, and adopting time-effective study techniques.

What advice do you have for current students?
If you are not confident about a subject, boldly tackle it head-on. While it is certainly a time investment in the short term to take remedial classes and improve yourself in that weak area, ultimately, your confidence will permanently increase as that weight is lifted. My second word of advice is to see college as a contract you are making with yourself. Set-up your phone calendar with blocked out times for both your classes and also daily time to study. Adhere to that schedule the way you adhere to a work schedule. Not giving-up and prioritizing your academic schedule are the two most critical traits underlying student success.

Delia Hernandez

How did you get into teaching?
Teaching found me!  As first-generation students, my best friend and I helped each other through school. When we were completing our college applications, I asked her what I should choose as a major. She looked at me as if she thought it was obvious and responded: "Are you kidding? You are going to St. Francis and will become a teacher."  So, I did! I started teaching while I was in college. I majored in English and elementary education and have worked in schools for my entire career. Being a teacher is much more than my profession: It is intertwined with the way in which I live, so it has become a key aspect of my identity.

What do you love about teaching?
I value my role in serving as a bridge between the realities and experiences of my students and the culture of academia. Also, I love the excitement of a new year or new semester - a chance to begin anew and refine my practice. 

What’s your favorite teaching experience?My favorite moments center around first experiences. With first-year students, I love seeing their growth as they become acclimated to college and begin to tap into their beliefs about education. They begin to recognize that they bring a wealth of knowledge about the field of education as they find and develop their "teacher" voices and views. For my students in their last semester at KCC, I love the transformation that happens when they get to work directly with children as they experience field work for the first time. They realize that what they have been learning actually does align with what is happening in real classrooms...and that they have some skills and strengths!

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Everything that I've done in my career as a teacher, reading specialist and assistant principal impacts my current experiences and practice.  In a sense, there are strong parallels between working with first graders as they learn to read and working with first-year KCC students as they learn to become college students.  

What advice do you have for current students?
Engage - Seek to learn and grow in every class - Use a planner - Ask questions - Develop some interests - Make some friends - Get to know some professors - And...Read your email so that you will be informed and prepared!

 Tanya Johnson

How did you get into teaching?
I got into teaching truly by happenstance. Like most, I was on a search engine looking for a job. What I didn’t know at that point was that I was embarking on completely changing my career. I reflect on the day of my interview regularly…everything imaginable was going wrong, until I came on campus and, in that moment, I knew I was supposed to be here.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
Since I didn’t complete college until my early 30’s and I was already on the management/directorial track in hospitality, I sought to advance myself, at some point, to the position of hotel or general manager.

What do you love about teaching?
I enjoy influencing the future of an industry that has been an integral part of my life and development. To be in hospitality requires humility, professionalism, patience, creativity, and empathy among other traits. Getting others to interweave these and other characteristics to become change agents for an industry that is as ancient, but constantly evolving is a total rush.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?
My favorite teaching experience thus far was when I was able to chaperone students to Disney World to participate in their onsite leadership training. Having my students gain insight from an organization that is renowned for its service, hospitality, and influence was magnificent.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Oftentimes, I use experiences had as a foundation for discussion and debate in class.  It allows students to understand there are numerous ways to resolve issues. As the department’s club advisor in the past, I’ve also used my contacts to create panels and to invite speakers that offer real-world knowledge based on current occurrences in industry, rather than just theoretical details found in textbooks.

What advice do you have for current students?
My advice would be to go beyond textbooks and lectures. The lessons the collegiate experience can offer include social development, networking, leadership skill building, and so much more, all within an environment that’s supportive and focused on helping those within in it to achieve maturation.

Dr. Martin Matthew

How did you get into teaching?
My first teaching experience came after completing high school. I taught at a Roman Catholic elementary school for two years. The following year I received a full scholarship to attend the University of Havana and Camaguey in Cuba, where I did some tutoring. After graduate school, I was offered a position by Touro College to teach several courses in history and political science, and later by the college of New Rochelle, where I taught history and political science for several years before joining the history department at Kingsborough Community College.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
At the University of Havana, I studied agronomy but realized it was not an area I wanted as a career. Another thought was being an air traffic controller, but I decided against it and settled for economics. I study Economic Planning at the University of Havana and Camaguey for three years. After graduating with a bachelor's in economics, I went to graduate school to study history and political science. Political science I knew well because I had worked with the government and witnessed firsthand how the government operated. However, my great love for history was a deciding factor.

What do you love about teaching?
I love making a difference in students' lives and inspiring them to make a difference in this universe. At Touro and the College of New Rochelle, students have written letters and made telephone calls explaining how I have contributed to their success. Students at Kingsborough are the most inspiring. I have past students who tell me I have changed their lives. Some students demand that other family members take African American and Caribbean classes. Others have reported how those classes changed their perspective and major; some went on to law schools. Teaching is my passion. It is the field that truly keeps on giving. Many students speak about the knowledge received from African American, Caribbean, and political science classes. This makes teaching a grateful career because I am contributing to the learning and the advancement of humanity.

What's your favorite teaching experience?
I had some students who went to Africa because they took the African American class. After taking the Caribbean class, some went to Europe to see how the Caribbean contributed to building multiple European cities. Another exciting experience was an invitation by Haitian American and other Caribbean American students to speak at their church and conventions.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
I share my struggles growing up and where I am today and encourage them to do the same or better. I firmly believe that students should focus on making a difference in this universe and people's lives by using their professional skills, rather than concentrating on monetary value. I encourage students to apply historical information to their current conditions to solve complex problems and find the right approach to solve those situations.

What advice do you have for current students?
I want current students to remember that most of the greatest inventions and realizations did not occur immediately. These advances came about through prolonged, extensive, and collaborative efforts after several years of attempts and failure. Most humans are impatient for long-term rewards and concentrate on short-term immediate gratification. Make sure you have a purpose in life, and make that purpose meaningful and part of a whole. Don’t look for immediate gratification and quick solutions, and try not to be impatient. Work and study hard and learn thoroughly and comprehensively. Do not accept mediocre conditions; strive for excellence and be the best you can be. Whatever area you have decided for your career, be the best at it. Also, do not let money be your motivator in life. Focus on what you can do to change the world and make a difference in this universe with your career.

Q&A with Christina McVey Physical Therapist Assistant Program

How did you get into teaching?
I am a physical therapist and am currently part of the physical therapist assistant (PTA) program. Earlier in my career, I was the director of rehabilitation and was in charge of the student clinical program in a hospital in Queens. I heard about a new PTA program beginning at Kingsborough and thought it would be interesting to coordinate the student program from the college side. Now, I coordinate the clinical program at the college as well as teach PTA courses. 

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
In college, I imagined myself as a physical therapist, working with children. To be honest, the thought of standing up in front of a class and teaching was the furthest thing from my mind.  And look at me now, I have done both!

What do you love about teaching?
I love the student interaction in my PTA lab and teaching different exercises and hands-on skills like walking with a cane, walkers and crutches. 

What’s your favorite teaching experience?One of my favorite teaching experiences is observing students while they work with patients in a variety of clinical settings. Seeing students utilizing their skills and interacting with patients is very rewarding. I am also often fortunate to see our alumni (now employees) at the facilities using the skills they learned in our program.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
While teaching in lectures and labs, I often tell stories about previous patient treatments and use scenarios from my professional experiences. Many times, I find that students better comprehend difficult concepts by using real situations. 

What advice do you have for current students?
I have three pieces of advice for all students. First, find a career you can really picture yourself doing, something you are passionate about.  Doing something you enjoy is so important. Second, don’t let anyone discourage you. If you really want something, work hard and persevere. Third, never say never: Be open to new possibilities, even if it is outside your comfort zone. I would not be here at Kingsborough today without this advice. 

Q&A with Sharon Parker

How did you get into teaching?
I got into teaching by challenging myself to give seven non-English-speaking Asian students at the NY School of Design the opportunity to learn the technical skills of draping. The students all worked in the fashion field as sample makers or cutters and wanted to explore a new position as a draper. I taught evening and weekend classes to those seven determined students, who mastered the form of draping by simply watching me drape muslin on a dress form. These extraordinary students remarkably surprised me by repeating fashion terms and phrases during the demonstrations. The experience at the NY School of Design, a trade school that first believed in me, was rewarding. The challenges were difficult at times, but the outcome was successful. I do what I love and I love what I do!

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
While attending the High School of Fashion Industries, I knew exactly the career path I wanted to pursue as I continued my education at Fashion Institute of Technology: I wanted to become a sleepwear/loungewear fashion designer. I promised myself not to just settle for a job, but to aim for a career. The world of fashion has given me so many great opportunities to work with well-known designers, top-notch patternmakers, and the best sample makers who have shared their skillful sewing techniques. I am forever grateful!

What do you love about teaching?
I love motivating and inspiring students to be creative, unique and stylish — to step out of the box! It’s amazing to see the outcome of the creative designs developed by the students. The design begins with a sketch and is executed into a final garment using all the technical tools of the trade as they embark on their career goals in the fashion industry.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?
I have several favorite teaching experiences: I enjoy being a hands-on teacher, taking into account that students learn at their own pace and some require one-on-one lab sessions. I also like seeing the joy and excitement of the students as they showcase their designer’s mini-collection in the annual KCC Fashion Show. I really enjoy teaching senior citizens students from the My Turn Program and students with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program. These programs allow me to interact with the students and help them embrace a new or second career in fashion design. Creativity stimulates the mind and the opportunity for students to express themselves through their designs.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
I like to share my personal experiences in the classroom through conversations and Q & A sessions. I take my students on a fashion journey ride of 35 years of my professional experiences as a fashion designer/pattern designer in the intimate apparel market, sharing the ups and downs, successes, and remarkable relationships that I still have today with my fashion peers. Students are intrigued and very interested to know all about the fashion industry. And they have many questions regarding their future career in fashion.

What advice do you have for current students?
The advice I have for current students is continue your education and NEVER give up on your dreams. There will be obstacles along your fashion journey but don’t give up on your “Passion for Fashion.”

Q&A with Nicholas Skirka

How did you get into teaching?
I found myself giving good advice to people so I took that trait and used it in teaching and coaching soccer. I taught in high school and now college, and worked in the athletic department at New York University.   

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
When I attended college, I decided that my career would be physical education teaching and soccer coaching. I chose what I like to do in life rather than going after the money. I value getting a very good education and sharing this with students.

What do you love about teaching?
I enjoy figuring out how to motivate students to learn. Once I can motivate students and get them to do the work, I know they are learning.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?The most rewarding teaching experience is seeing students learn, graduate, pursue a career, and show their appreciation to teachers.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
First, I provide guidance to students so that they make the right career decisions. Second, I structure my lectures so students are exposed to the main concepts and substance required to learn in the course.

What advice do you have for current students?
I would like to see students recognize their good qualities, talents, and gifts. I would like to see students go with their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

Q&A with Laura Spinu-Speech CommunicationHow did you get into teaching?
I always considered myself too shy to be able to actually practice teaching. When I was in college I would often skip - out of fear - classes taught by professors known to require their students to speak up! For a while this seemed like a serious impasse: On the one hand, my background made teaching the only viable career choice but, on the other, my fear of public speaking made it impossible. This all changed when I was a teaching assistant during my master’s program at Stony Brook University, and was told I would have to teach ESL. (At the time I had been in the USA for a very short while and I had no idea what ESL even stood for!) I don’t know how I finally found the courage to open that door and go inside, but it was nothing short of magical: 25 pairs of hopeful eyes looking up at me kindly, respectfully and somehow appearing even more scared than I was! I realized then what appears just as true 19 years later: Teaching is the only career that enables me to combine my interests, skills, motivation, and the different aspects of my personality which I believe are crucial to my self-actualization. A very happy ending indeed!

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
The career I had dreamt of since childhood was that of veterinarian because I have always loved animals and felt a strong desire to make a positive difference to their lives. I did not become a veterinarian because I was too afraid of the admissions exam. The educational system in Romania, where I grew up, required students to choose their career straight out of high school, and admission to all university programs was based solely on the results of a single strenuous exam or series of exams. In the end, I do not regret this, as I have found many ways of staying connected with animals (starting with having my own pets) and helping the ones in need through volunteering, donations, and advocacy.

What do you love about teaching?
If I had to pick just one thing I love it’s that teaching is always a two-way street in a way that other careers are not. I love that it enables me to make as much of a difference to students’ lives as they make to mine. I help students learn to think as scientists and, in turn, they stimulate my own professional development. My Facebook ‘motto’ describes that quite well: “I teach, but I mostly learn.”

What’s your favorite teaching experience?It is very difficult to choose just one! Generally speaking, I have experienced the deepest fulfillment from situations such as the following: encouraging shy students to be more responsive and assertive, and seeing them overcome their fears; making time to help a student who was in his 70s with a dictionary project he had been working on for the past 17 years; witnessing a student’s change from visible distress (resulting from his social anxiety disorder) to raising his hand to speak up in class and enjoying his class presentations; receiving a letter from a student I often saw during office hours, who had being going through difficult times (to the point where she had to stay in a rehabilitation clinic) thanking me for having helped make that hard time in her life a bit easier. And not least, seeing so many of my students become drawn to research under my guidance, develop their first research projects and present their work at professional conferences, including international conferences held abroad. These outcomes, and many others, are the reason I always tell people that I had the incredible luck of landing my ideal job!

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Other than refining and redesigning parts of my courses constantly to reflect my newly-acquired knowledge, I like to think that by being outspoken about my training and daily practices as a scientist I am inspiring students to make good choices and incorporate the scientific method to their own lives and their assessment of the world that surrounds them. Above all, I constantly encourage students, especially my mentees as part of CRSP (the CUNY Research Scholars Program) and K-CORE (Kingsborough Collaborative Research & Conference Bootcamp), the undergraduate research program I founded at Kingsborough, to work on topics stemming from my research projects. A fundamental priority in my teaching and my K-CORE initiative is to enhance our students’ success by providing technical skills and arming them with knowledge about the basics of scientific research, leading to a potential career in various STEM disciplines. With the support of the CRSP program, we recently acquired an ultrasound system for speech research, which both my mentees and my regular students will be able to use. The ability to visualize and measure the movements of articulators during everyday activities, such as speaking or swallowing, can really bring research to life in a way that is inspiring for the students.

What advice do you have for current students?
I advise current students to value their education and the doors that it can open for them in the future. No matter where you start in college, it will bring you a step closer to where you want to be. Any course you pursue will provide a great environment for you to develop the critical competencies you need to succeed, such as problem solving, discipline, time management, accountability and self-direction. The community of peers that you can practice these competencies with, and the safe space to do so provided by your institution, are two of the most valuable things about college life. Above all, remember that you will get out what you put in – there really is no excuse for not giving your best to your future self!

Susan Spivack

How did you get into teaching?
When I was in my mid-20s, the chair of the graphic design department at the School of Visual Arts, also a former instructor of mine, contacted me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to teach a graphic design class. I was shocked. I asked him why he called me and he said it was because I was an excellent student, a talented designer and a wonderful role model for his female students in particular. I was flattered and thrilled and began a career that has spanned three decades teaching at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute and, of course, my favorite, Kingsborough Community College.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?I went to college to become a graphic designer and was fortunate enough to realize my dreams. I worked for several different types of advertising and design firms before opening my own design business. 

What do you love about teaching?I love teaching because it gives me the opportunity to connect with young people, to earn their trust and then be able to guide them. Sometimes that guidance is on their careers and sometimes it’s their personal lives.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?My favorite teaching experiences actually have nothing to do with teaching design. They are the times when a student comes to me with a problem that is bigger than just academics and I am able to help them navigate these difficult issues. Sometimes a student just needs a sensible, caring individual to support and advise them during a difficult time.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?My workday has often been a weave of my work as a designer and my work as a professor. For example, after leaving a meeting at the United Nations, I went straight to class, bubbling with excitement about the new branding system my firm was working on for them. Sharing the details of the meeting and having the students follow along as the project and the semester progressed, they observed, in real time, the world of the professional designer.  Another time, my firm was designing the event graphics for the NYC Marathon and I invited my students to participate by creating sketches. A sketch created by one of my students was developed into an award-winning design!

What advice do you have for current students?My advice for current students is never give up. During an annual meeting I hold advising on transferring to a four-year college, I tell my students about my educational journey. I share that it took me 15 years to get my master’s degree because life kept getting in the way. And I tell them about how I just kept chipping away at it until finally, 15 years later, I was able to graduate with the degree that would open up the door to becoming a professor. It was hard work, but at the end of the day it enabled me to add teaching to my rich professional design life.

Q&A with Petra Symister

How did you get into teaching?
Teaching was a part of my psychology graduate school program because it was assumed that we would become professors at a college or university where we would be conducting research and teaching. In grad school, while we were learning how to carry out research in our discipline, we were teaching assistants for the professors. We had the opportunity to assist a different professor each semester, which allowed us to see different teaching styles in action.  Eventually we would use what we learned in our own classrooms.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
I was not required to declare a major until the end of my sophomore year, so I was given an ample amount of time to explore my interests and determine which major would lead me towards the career I wanted. That was fortunate for me because I entered college having no idea what career I should pursue. Initially I was a bit worried about not having a firm idea about my career goals, but I worked hard in all my classes, figured out which subjects I liked and used that to inform my choice of major. By the time I was in my junior year I was certain that I wanted to continue studying psychology and sociology. Although I was not quite sure of the career I wanted to pursue, I knew that studying psychology and sociology would prepare me for it.  As my experience demonstrates, it’s OK not to know what your career goals are the minute you step on campus.

What do you love about teaching?
What I love about teaching is that it allows learners to see themselves and the world in new and interesting ways and helps them make useful, positive changes in their lives.  I often see former students, months or even years after they have taken one of my courses, and they always share with me how something they learned changed the way they perceived themselves and/or others, changed the way they viewed a problem or challenge, or positively affected their actions in some way.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?Surprisingly, my favorite teaching experience occurs outside of the classroom. It is so rewarding to see former students and have them tell me that something that they learned from me has been helpful in their lives or that they decided to study psychology because of my class.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Many of my students are unaware of the ways in which your degree can open up a variety of career paths. Students are often surprised when I tell them that my first job after receiving my doctorate in psychology was as a senior research associate at a market research company. Since jobs in market research can involve survey creation and data analysis, two skill sets that are developed in psychology graduate school, I had the perfect training for the job. By sharing this with my students, I can show them how degrees can lead to a variety of careers.

What advice do you have for current students?
Three practical pieces of advice for current students:

  1. Read the syllabus. Your professor will be grateful, and it will make your experience in the class much more pleasant, or at the very least, much more predictable.

  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Kingsborough has a variety of support programs to assist you. Regardless of the challenge, there is someone here to help.

  3. Don’t give up if there is a bump in your road to success.  The challenges will come. Prepare for them and continue to move toward your goal.

Joseph Terry

How did you get into teaching?
At university, a friend of mine said to me “You should become a teacher!” He said this in response to my helping him explain a particular concept in physics. I laughed in his face and answered “never!” Several years later, I took a job at the Writing Center at Kingsborough and, to my surprise, realized how much I enjoyed helping students with their work, both individually and collectively. An opportunity to teach my own course was presented to me and, as they say, the rest is history! I’d stumbled into teaching.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
I imagined myself doing research in astrophysics while working for a lab. Having the opportunity to work as an undergraduate assistant in that field helped me to realize that, while I enjoyed such work, it wasn’t for me. I also studied philosophy and had a deep love for that discipline, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. At that time, I did not think about teaching…

What do you love about teaching?
I love having the opportunity to share my joy and knowledge with others. For me, teaching is a wonderful occasion to journey with students through the fascinating world of philosophy, while exploring the perennial questions that, in one sense, are part of our mother tongue as human beings! I also enjoy the experience of watching them make connections, both intellectually and with each other, as a community of learners.  

What’s your favorite teaching experience?
I’ve been fortunate to have many memorable experiences, but a few stand out. One time, a class discussion was so engaging no one wanted to leave when our session came to an end. Another time, I took a class out near the beach and discussed with them the nature of reality, causality, and change. What makes these and other experiences stand out to me is the level of engagement and connection we felt. These were moments that felt as if time stopped.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
I try to model for students a certain type of questioning that is decisive for philosophical inquiry. In addition, I seek to cultivate within them a particular kind of disposition that is akin to wonder, awe, and curiosity – essential ingredients for the soul of a philosopher.

What advice do you have for current students?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Courage is essential, especially when it comes to pursuing truth since one may in fact discover something one did not expect. This, however, is a gift, because a new world is opening before you – one that invites you to explore!