Friday, June 11, 2010

I Am Gayle

I spent a vast part of yesterday with my best friend, DOCTOR Cynthia Mathews.

Yup, I've written about her before and yup, she has finally been awarded her doctorate; she is a Doctor of Educational Motivation.

I am so proud of her. I cannot even begin to express how proud I am. Cynthia came from such humble beginnings, in the deep South, from a poor family who did not understand why a black female would even bother with all that education...two bachelor degrees, two masters degrees and now a doctorate. To be honest, I think it was her background that motivated her.

Anyway, we were in her car and had pulled up to a restaurant parking lot (Usually when Cynthia and I go anywhere, food is involved..) I began to get out of the car.

"Beej, wait a minute. I want to show you something."

She reached into the back seat and grabbed a large tome. It was her dissertation. She thumbed through the pages, stopped and handed it to me. There was the list of acknowledgements. First off, right at the top, heading the list, I saw my name. There it was. Anal me, who drove her just short of nuts going through mounds of papers up at Troy University library, counting and recording dozens and dozens of kids' responses to a questionnaire she had compiled. I'm telling you, she laughed at how I nitpicked each kids answers to make certain I added it to the correct list of responses. Nonetheless, she must have felt I helped despite how much I irritated her because there I was, heading the list.

"Well? What do you think?" she asked me.

"Cynthia, I think I am the Gayle to your Oprah."

"For sure, Beej."


  1. What a cool story...what a cool person..the both of you make great friends!!


  2. That is awsome she put you in her memory part of the paper.. I would be proud of being the one to help a friend like that.. Hope you are too...

  3. That's a great story!
    It's so nice to have a best friend. Isn't it?
    Congratulations Cynthia! :)


  4. Thanks guys. In all my life I have never met anyone who has strove to improve the life of others the way Cynthia does. She has been a High School English teacher for twenty years and every where we go, we run into past students of hers who tell her the difference she has made in their life and how they have tried to live up to her expectations. She is tough on her classroom kids but at the same time she fosters hope in them and drives them to be successful and to make a difference in others lives. this is a truly amzing lady, one who justifies the space she takes and the air she breathes.

    It wasn't easy for her to get all this education and she didnt do it to get pats on the back; she sw it as a key to reaching kids, some of whom now live in the very project in which she grew up.

    She comes from simple people who worked hard all their life, good folks. She lives, eats and breathes the kids in her care, takes each one under her wing. And she truly has wings.. because she is an angel.

  5. What a fun story and congrats to Cynthia!!!!

  6. Isn't she amazing? She's up at Auburn U for 4 days right now to head a conference on how to motivate the apathetic adolescent. Her class was jam packed with hs teachers from all over the state, a wildly successful conference. She is a speaker of the highest order and her conferences draw in the crowds of educators. Her reputation precedes her.
    I don't know how I got so lucky to be her closest friend.


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

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