While teaching an Algebra 2 class during the early afternoon near the end of first semester 2012, I started to feel faint. Not thinking straight, I thought I could keep going, and I told the class I was OK. I pulled out a chair, sat down, and attempted to continue. Most of the class was looking at me and looking at each other not knowing what to do. Haley Gilligan, ’14 took charge. She stood up, put her hands on her hips and said, “I don’t care what you say. You don’t look good. I’m going to get the nurse.” Before leaving she turned to a classmate and ordered her, “You, go get him some water!”
That student returned with a cup of ice water, quickly followed by Haley and Susie Murray with her blood-pressure cuff. My blood pressure was ridiculously low, and Susie said I was moments away from falling face-first. The nurse returned with a wheelchair, took me to her office, had me lie down, and drink several bottles of water. My blood pressure came back up, and I taught the last class of the day. I had my doctor check me out a couple of days later, and he found nothing. I was probably just dehydrated. By far the worst part was being wheeled through Haggar during B-lunch.
For a 17-year-old high school junior to go against what an authority figure was telling her and proactively do what she knew was right was extraordinary. In the Spring, Haley asked me to write a college recommendation letter. I included this story. It was one of the easiest rec letters I have ever written.