A good teacher is one who cares about their students as more than just students, but as unique individuals who deserve your time and love. Throughout my life I have been blessed with several teachers like this. They care about your education, but also ask about your dreams and seek to get to know you as a person outside of the school day. There are so many great teachers here at Nyack who go above and beyond their required seat hours to pour into the lives of their students. As an intercultural studies major a few of my teachers live on campus and I have had the pleasure of going over to their houses and sharing a meal with them. It was wonderful to be able to spend time in community with these teachers and other classmates as we discuss life issues and our dreams for the future. This has been a huge blessing during my time here at Nyack so far.
There is one teacher in particular who I believe was a wonderful teacher inside of the classroom as well as a person who I knew I could talk to even once I finished his class. Barry Jordan was the missionary in residence this year at Nyack College and was the teacher of my Culture and Communication’s class. He, his wife Patty, and their family have been serving in Indonesia as missionaries for many years now, but have spent their last year on furlough at Nyack. Barry has become a sort of father-figure on campus through his open-door policy and continuing friendly gestures towards all students as well as the name by which myself and many other students call him. His name on campus is ‘Bapak’ which is the word for father in the country which he serves. When I was in Bapak’s class I learned much about culture and specifically about the people of Indonesia as one can quickly see his love for these people. I learned much from his personally stories of different situations which he had encountered on the mission field. It was truly a wonderful class to be a part of as I gained knowledge, but also made lasting friendships with my classmates and my teacher. Even though the class ended in December I still carry on a relationship with Bapak as well as many friendships that were born and nurtured in that class. Even now I have made many visits to Bapak’s house, nestled in the center of campus, for dinner, parties, or just to show up on his front lawn to be invited in for cake and ice cream. Bapak and his family’s hospitality and love was a huge gift to this campus for the past year and he will surely be missed as he heads back to do God’s work again in Indonesia.