|Magical Mushrooms and Mischievous Molds - The Gateway to a Lifelong Fascination with Plant Pathology|
G. HUDLER (1). (1) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, U.S.A.
If I hadn't been <i>required</i> to take a course in Forest Pathology in 1969, I'm sure I'd be doing something else now. Most noteworthy in that critical 10 weeks of my life was that I learned I could put my new knowledge (and what I could learn via novel research thereafter) to immediate use to make peoples' lives better. Many APS members also have the genesis of their interest in plant pathology in a <i>required</i> course, and that factor shouldn't be overlooked . While launching Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds at Cornell, I didn't plan to turn many students into plant pathologists but I <i>did</i> want to have impact comparable to that professor who had been so important to me earlier. With page after page from his playbook, I told stories - <i>each with an intelligible beginning and</i> <i>without acronyms</i>, I learned to use humor to advantage, and I aspired to have every student leave every class with some meaningful new nugget of wisdom. Today, not a month passes that I don't hear from former students that something they learned from me made a difference in their lives. About a dozen have changed paths to become plant scientists, and others elsewhere in the world who were inspired by the example we set have also found a latent passion and run with it. I'm surprised, I'm flattered, and I'd do it all over again exactly the same way if the chance arose <i>because the results exceeded my wildest expectations.</i>