Sometimes you find interesting messages in your inbox. Sometimes it’s that free birthday meal coupon from your favorite restaurant buried under months of other email messages. Maybe it’s not expired. Other times you find yourself opening your spam folder with the single purpose of clearing it out– who knows what might be residing in that black hole of your inbox, but whatever it is, you need it gone.
Then there are times when you find exceptionally old emails. Internet culture moves at lightning speed, there’s no way to deny that. The average user sends and receives an estimated 136 emails each day. That’s 49,640 emails in one year (and a few of those come directly to you from the Foundation if you’ve joined our newsletter list). Messages from six months ago go into archive, forget about finding something from a year ago.
But imagine opening an email message dated August 22, 2008 from the deep, dark depths of your inbox. Take a second to extract a nine-year-old message like that from your own inbox if you dare. This blog will wait for you.
Are you still in touch with the person who sent it to you? Is the information relevant today? What does it look like? Does it have a smell?
Here’s what our August 22, 2008 email from Pamela Dodd looks like:
That email is nine years old today, but we’re still thrilled to receive a message like it.
We caught up with Pam this summer to finally talk about the post-Nashville State developments in her life. Not only did she earn an Associate of Science degree in Computer Accounting from Nashville State, but she’s also received a Bachelor of Science in Resource Management from Troy University, as well as a Master in Acquisition Management degree from American Graduate University. And now, years after her alumni update email, Pam is close to completing a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Columbia Southern University.
Pam’s embarked on an extensive academic journey in her life, but she still credits Nashville State with giving her a start. “If I hadn’t had a positive experience there, I would not have pursued further education,” she explains. “The instructors were so compassionate. They were coming to class after a workday like I was, they understood where I was in life,” she adds.
Pam also shares a story about a calculator issue she was once experiencing while taking a math class online. Her instructor met her on campus outside of office hours, and they worked together to solve the problem. Years later, the initiative that instructor took to independently support her is still impressive to Pam. “The people there want you to do well and want to help you do well,” she adds.
One of the vital, yet hidden, benefits of the community college atmosphere is the sense of togetherness and shared sphere of experience that surrounds the campus. “There was always somebody I knew on campus, it wasn’t uncommon to run into a friendly face,” Pam explains. NSCC instructors can build engaging relationships with their students not only because class sizes are small, but also because they understand that investing in academic progress enables community growth.
Pam has this easy, assured sense of confidence that permeates our entire discussion. She’s been through the student experience multiple times over in her academic career; she knows what she’s talking about. When asked to share a piece of advice with current Nashville State students, Pam says: “Keep going. It’s challenging, but it’s worth it.”
That’s advice worth hearing at any point in time.
Are you a Nashville State graduate like Pam? Please take a moment to register with our Alumni Association. It’s free! Have an idea for Stories of State? Share your student, faculty, program, or other news of note with Emily Evans via email at email@example.com or by phone at (615) 353-3222.