Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bob Calfee- A Mentor

Robert Calfee 1933-2014
Bob died last night. Bob was my mentor, the kind that sticks in your head long after you moved out of state. I remember the first time Bob spoke inside my head. It was 1999 my first AERA in New Orleans. I went to a session about early reading acquisition. Mid presentation by one of the leading researchers in the field I heard Bob's voice and unique cadence "It's articulation stupid".

Bob has taught me to think about variance, his metaphor of variance as a sausage still lives whenever I teach a methods class. Probably more than anything else Bob showed me how you can manage multiple projects and ideas by switching mindset. I remember watching Bob make the switch. Our meeting time was 30 minutes and when the time was up Bob simply moved to the next thing. We were still there in his office finishing the last details but he has already moved on.

I never accounted really for just how much I've learned from Bob, his analytic approach, his passion, his ever present mentorship.
A colleague just wrote me a note saying we should have our mentors forever. My first thought was, we will.

Finally I remember Bob giving me and Sarah money for dinner at the Mission Inn on our anniversary in those day of graduate school poverty. I would say rest in peace, but that too was not Bob's way.
He voice will always be with me.

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