Essays in Honor of Sandy Petrey
Edited By Robert Harvey and Patrice Nganang
9. Desperate Artist
In my first year of teaching, I encountered a problematic student, and I sought advice from Dr. Petrey. His advice was simple and sound: “Students want to be heard.” I have been a student in Dr. Petrey’s classes, a T.A. in his undergraduate classes, and a mentee. His enthusiasm is unparalleled, his knowledge of the texts inscrutable, and his wit captivating. Sandy is consistently a stern critic, a voracious reader, and a kind voice. The sincere note reading, “congratulations on finishing another draft,” bolsters one with confidence to endure the ensuing chastising. After sitting across his desk from countless students, Sandy still gets it. A student cannot survive on disdain alone.
If I had to choose one thing Sandy taught me, it would be that we all bleed history. Art Spiegelman, Salman Rushdie, and Flaubert have bled through Professor Petrey’s courses, directed readings, comprehensive exams, and dissertations. We have been fortunate enough to experience history through literature, in a way that is incomparable, led by Sandy.
After Atticus was born, Sandy kissed me on both cheeks, the faire la bise only appropriate for a Francophile. His scruffy whiskers scratched my cheeks, and it was this gesture of kindness and empathy that embodies Sandy’s character for me. And it is Sandy heartily punching his desk after a semester of directed novel readings and announcing, “That was fun!” that embodies his passion for literature.
Thank you, Dr. Petrey, for being...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.