“So you’re doing it.”

I knew I was.

That’s the thing with Doan. He’s direct and concise. Even his physical frame embodies it with its bony angles. He cut through all my concerns to tell me what I already knew:

I was joining Experience Institute.

The jumping bean concerns in my head, You’re still in school! How is this going to work? How are you going to afford this?, rested momentarily, finally allowing me to feel excited.

And grateful.

Doan is an entrepreneurship professor, connector, and mentor. We met in 2012 when he spoke at the TEDx event I was co-organizing and we formed a mentorship-friendship. He had helped me line up a pretty killer way to head out of my college years. It was late July of 2015 in Downtown Bloomington’s Coffeehound. I was about to start an experiential learning program and give a TEDx talk about experiential learning in November, both opportunities lined up by Doan and accepted by me. There was no telling how things would turn out, but the excitement and potential was undeniable.

One year later I’m revisiting that coffeeshop conversation as I try to summarize what I’ve been able to learn about my work and myself in the year that’s passed. I’m sitting on my bed in Pittsburgh, staring at a row of postcards taped to my wall. One from Victor mentions Doan and I know there’s only one way to write this last post:

Thanks, Doan.

I did do it. Thanks for thinking of me when you came across this opportunity. Thanks for being the mentor and friend you’ve been and for the doors you’ve opened. I hope to start opening doors for you and others as I continue my career.

Keep rattling the old bones of education. I’m rattling right alongside you.


 

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