How to make cow tongue tacos

Amelia Long
UMass Lowell Student

As students, all of us will endure an academic journey. Whether the destination leads to a career in medicine, engineering, business, or the arts, getting there will involve getting over a few bumps in the road. While we’re persevering through our endeavors, we mustn’t forget those who have guided us along the way and set us on the right path.

When we lose sight of the path we’re going down, it is our teachers, coaches, and role models who guide us back. Along my own journey, one of the first professors that I met here at UMass Lowell has gone beyond the call of duty. Jose Martinez, an adjunct psychology professor, approaches psychology, as well as his students, in a unique and passionate manner.

During my first semester, I originally signed up for general psychology with another professor, but at the last moment a friend of mine recommended Professor Martinez. My friend raved about how inspirational and impactful Professor Martinez’s class was for her, until I knew I needed to switch in.

On my first day joining the class, I expected Professor Martinez to go over textbook readings or power point slides but instead we watched a video entitled “How to Make Cow Tongue Tacos.” As outlandish as this may sound, Professor Martinez emphasized that no matter how bizarre a culture may seem, it is these eccentricities and experiences that make up our psychology, and most of all, our identity.

Professor Martinez shared with us his belief that the best type of learning lies beyond the textbook, through conversation and engagement. Relating research, relevant events, and personal anecdotes, he encourages his students to ask countless questions and connect what we learn to our own lives. By doing this we become more consciously aware and observant about the world and people around us.

To me, Professor Martinez is more than just a professor: he is one of the most inspirational mentors I ever had. He took time out of his own schedule to work with me. He values teaching students the essentials to overcome challenges in life rather than only focusing on their grade at the end of the semester. Professor Martinez goes beyond obligations when it comes to putting his students above everything else.

The best parts of psychology allow us to unearth parts of ourselves that we never knew about. Professor Martinez wants what’s best for his students by bringing resolution into their lives, whether by listening to personal concerns, providing insight, or just giving a good laugh. It is teachers like Jose Martinez here at UMass Lowell that test our limits and make us look at the world in ways we never thought possible.

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