Before I left for college, I was under the impression that it would be a lot like a J. Crew catalog. But, alas, there were no people in khakis and sweaters reading philosophy on park benches or tweed blazers walking through the quad. Rather, there were a whole lot of jag bags in Alpha Gamma Phi Delta Kappa Pi Sigma Theta Blah Blah Blah shirts and chicks in Nike running shorts with Ugg boots. Say what you will about how preppy and lame J. Crew can be, but it will never be as terrible as Nike running shorts with Ugg boots.
But one of the best aspects of my college career was meeting professors who absolutely loved their jobs. I had quite a few of those, and I would say that there was no professor who loved his job more than Doctor J. Rufus Fears. He taught two of the most popular courses, and I had the privilege of taking one. He could be seen walking around campus with his backpack and walking stick on his way to and from classes. Dr. Fears passed away on Saturday and he will be greatly missed.
From the Norman Transcript:
University of Oklahoma professor J. Rufus Fears died Saturday, the university announced.
“Rufus Fears was one of the greatest teachers in the history of our state,” OU President David L. Boren said. “His death is not only a great loss to the University but to the future generations of students who will be deprived of learning from him in the classroom.”
I know not everyone went to OU, so allow me to relate how cool this man was. If you went to OSU, imagine losing the Turf Grass Management professor or the Director of the Dairy Department. If you went to UCO, imagine losing the professor who made fun of all the trophy wives in training. If you went to Oklahoma Christian, imagine losing the professor that told you dinosaur bones were put in the earth by Satan to lessen your faith in God.
I had Dr. Fears for Freedom in Greece. It was the best lecture class I’ve ever taken. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 PM during the fall of my senior year, I sat in a room with about 150 other students and listened while Dr. Fears spoke eloquently about Sparta, giving a more exciting story than that movie, 300. After the last lecture of the semester, the entire class clapped like they had just witnessed a performance.
Dr. Fears taught a class that was basically everything I had hoped college would be. Norman is in mourning, and OU will never be the same.
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