Day 44: Dr. David England

Dr. England,

You were a brilliant creature of habit, and I loved it so.

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9:59 sharp it was exactly he same. You’d blast through the door like a bull in china closet, cigarette smoke permeating your clothes hair and breath, toss a book or two on the lecturn, and without even looking up or so much as a “good morning,” it was the same every time.

“Alright, lets begin.”

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-7-37-59-pmAnd for the next 60 minutes we took a torrid pace through the world of constitutional law and civil liberties.

Marbury v. Madison, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, we covered them all. Academic study was never more thrilling.

You never used a single note. You knew the opinion’s author, the dissenter, the progeny of cases both preceding and following. You would have been easy to admire if it weren’t so difficult keeping up. It was frenetic in that seminar class.

I’ve never knew a more demanding teacher. One or two came close. None matched your oppressive and meticulous pace through a 60-minute lecture. It was exhausting.

You were brilliant, kind-hearted, no-nonsense, charitable, scholarly, honorable and inspirational. On every paper and every test, I just wanted to make you proud. Your praise was coveted as gold.

And when you passed, I mourned for days. You’re still in my heart. It may be better that you’re not here to see how society is pillaging the constitution today. I can only imagine what you’d say.

You’re one of the best educators under whom I ever had the privilege to study. That’s a fact.

Undergraduate political science minor (1988),

Steve Watkins

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