A Fateful Leap of Faith at 19


Entering Hofstra University on Long Island as a clueless 17 year old, I had no idea what I wanted. to do with my life. I was good at math, so I became accounting major. During my second year, I asked myself, "Why am I doing this to myself? I don't like accounting!"

The only class I enjoyed at Hofstra was my English class, which was a surprise because I disliked English in high school. In fact, I hated reading. But in that English class with Dr. Chalfant, something awakened in me. I was enthralled as we read and discussed Gulliver's Travels and other novels. For the first time, I felt comfortable raising my hand in class to respond to his questions and he was always supportive and validating of my views, as wild as they sometimes were. And he inspired me to write, which I still do today. For the first time in my life, I was getting A's in English!

One day while bored in accounting class, I realized I needed to decide whether to continue being miserable or change my major. I stumbled into Dr. Chalfant's office to discuss it. He was occupied, but his wife was there. She had muscular dystrophy and was in a wheel chair. She looked like a beautiful angel. I shared my dilemma and how much I loved his class. Without hesitation she said, "You should change your major and take as many classes with him as possible. He's amazing!" I was speechless, but it resonated. I decided to take classes I was interested in and trust that it would lead somewhere. I'm grateful that I did--and it did. Thanks Dr. Chalfant!

— John Amodeo, Ph.D.


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