To: Prof. Ekaterina Solovieva, And How Pieces Of Paper Can Make Us Happy


Over 12 years ago, a piece of paper made me really happy.

I got into Computer Science, Co-op, at St. Jerome’s University (University of Waterloo) – one of the most competitive programs in the country, and one of the most respected computer science programs in the world.

Now you all know that I ain’t no computer programmer, but that’s a story for another time.

Few weeks ago another piece of paper made me really happy yet again. A letter addressed to me.

To: Prof. Ekaterina Solovieva

I don’t even remember what was in the envelope. Maybe a faculty memo? Final exam schedule?

But it was the envelope itself that made my heart skip a beat. In fact, it gave me goosebumps.

I’ve wanted to be a university professor, since I was 18 years old. And for the past four months, I have been teaching psychology at my alma mater. As if that wasn’t enough, I have been teaching psychology in the very same classroom, where years ago I took multiple psychology courses myself.

Talk about coming full circle, eh?

Have you ever found yourself in a place in your life, where you look around, and think to yourself:

“Holy cow! Am I really here?”.
“For real? Pinch me!”.


For the past four months, I got to drive to my old university town twice a week and stand on stage in front of really cool intelligent people, and to tell them awesome stories about the subject that I love.

That’s what it was – sharing amazing stuff that I got to learn (some of it in the very same lecture hall) with others.

One night Italian sat in one of my lectures – it was the first time he saw me teach. “How was it?”, I asked at the end of the class.

“You look happy up there”, he smiled.

I got to walk through the same academic buildings where I took classes, I got to buy coffee in the same cafeteria. In a lot of ways, I got to reclaim that town as something different. As a town that is now part of my adulthood, not just part of my youth.


Prof. Ekaterina Solovieva

Posted January 1, 2014



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