A Thank You to the Toughest Teacher I've Ever Had

At Villanova, we believe that it is our similarities that make us strong, but our differences that make us stronger. Please tell us about a relationship that you have with someone who is different from you and how that has changed who you are today.


At my school, AP U.S. History has a reputation all its own - difficult, lengthy, overbearing. Still, in comparison to the teacher’s notoriety, the class seems like a piece of cake. You would have thought The Imitation Game was based on the way students feared him.

From the first day of class, I sensed that we could never get along. A Napoleon-like man, Coach Marks, as we were to call him, spoke of his staunch conservative values and political ideologies through a southern accent so thick, I could hardly understand when he teased me and called me a Yankee for spending my childhood in Massachusetts. Autographed pictures of President Reagan and Senator Marco Rubio lined the walls adjacent to his desk, a sharp contrast to my idolization of CJ Cregg, the fictional Press Secretary of The West Wing and Senators Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker.

The lens through which we learned the history of our country was shaped by his socially and fiscally conservative ideas. Democrats were corrupt and taxation was theft. Jefferson’s preference of states rights was favored over Hamilton’s national bank and President Nixon’s scandals were not nearly as shameful and un-presidential as President Clinton’s, we were told and tested on.

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