Page 1 of 1

RIP Dr. Dobbs

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:08 am
by Eyes of Old Main
I saw on Facebook today that Dr. Dobbs passed away.

Anyone here my age or older I'm sure knows a few Dobbs stories even if they didn't take one of his classes. The man was a true gentlman and scholar; in short, a master at his craft.

I was in Dr. Dobb's last fall Biology 101 class and he was on top of his game. He's two Dobbs stories of mine. One from the first day of my class, one from the last. There are others in between, but these two stand out.

On the first day of class, it was also our assigned lab day so we were there in the morning and back at it in the afternoon. I was sitting in the front row, left side by the front windows of Milliken Science Hall. Dr. Dobb's lab desk ran the length of the room directly in front of me. The station lamp at my seat was the typical old aluminum type that was all through Milliken before it was renovated. Original from the 1950's, I'm sure. ANyway, before Dr. Dobb's walked in, I noticed the aluminum shad has a really well worn, smooth dent in the center of it. The kind of dent that comes from light pressure over a long time, not a sharp pressure at one time. I remember thinking it was an odd dent, but that's about it. Then, as Dr. Dobbs started the lab, he walked around and eventually stopped in front of me. As he continued to teach to the class, he rested his elbow onto my lamp and it fit like a glove. That dent was the result of that same gentle lean that occured thousands of times over hundreds of lectures. In fact, Dr. Dobbs had been on faculty since before Milliken was built, so it truly was "his dent". If that's not a sign of longevity and consistency, I don't know what is.

I'll also never forget the final lab practical. It was the last day or so before Christmas break in the afternoon meaning it was dark by the time the exam was over. Since this was the last time he was going to tewach this class, he knew this was his last lab practical. As we students struggled with a challenging exam, he paced with a Santa hat on as Christmas music softly played. It was a surreal atmosphere in that lab with all the lights off except for the station lamps with all that going on. As the exam wrapped up, other prfoessors and students were out in the hall to wish Dr. Dobbs well.

Well, I'm sure everyone has their stories. After all, how many professors reach the status of having their classes referred to by their own names. When I was at Wofford, you didn't tell someone you were taking Biology 101, you told them you were taking "Dobbs". That kind of transcendency is not often seen. But, suffice it to say that Dr. Dobbs touched many of us as we passed through Wofford. He was a great teacher and an even better man. Wofford and the world have lost a great one.

Re: RIP Dr. Dobbs

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:00 am
by walliver
Sad news.

What I remember is that when I first entered Wofford in 1978, Three-quarters of all my fellow Freshmen were pre-med. By December 1978, there were very few pre-med students. I was a chemistry major, and didn't take Biology 101 until I was a junior and never found Dr. Dobbs as intimidating as others did. I guess when you are an 18 year old freshman that large class in the old amphitheater might have been intimidating.

Re: RIP Dr. Dobbs

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:47 pm
by Eyes of Old Main
I took his class as a sophomore, so I sort of knew what I was getting into as well. It wasn't the hardest class I took at Wofford, but had it's moments. You're right, though. By the end of the term, quite a few weeded themselves out of that class.