Michal Thompson, Class of 1975

June 242016

Dr. Long—

I am pleasantly surprised to see that the Human Relations Dept. is alive and thriving. Ever since receiving my master’s degree in 1975, I’ve referred to it as the result of an experimental program that had reached OU by the early 70s and probably no longer survived due to the growing conservative mood in the state.

My testimony will likely be of little value to your department, since I have left no discernible footprints in the field of human relations. Rather than preparing for a career in human relations, I took advantage of the department’s alternative opportunity and sampled my other departments and classes on campus in pursuit of both a creative writing project and a philosophy of photography. Two of the most enjoyable years of my life, but I stepped out of graduate school into a string of low-paying jobs as a staff photographer for the newspapers in five states, returning to my writing project in fits and starts. I’m retired now and realize that writing project was always more of an ambitious daydream than my talent and intellect could ever deliver. It was my own private Walter Mitty.

Still, the few mandatory classes in the Human Relations program brought me up against issues that I may never have seen so clearly otherwise, and for making me a better human in the process, well, that was worth the two years spent.

I’m enclosing an article from my last newspaper gig, one published more than 30 years ago. It sums up my life better than I realized even then.

All the best—

Michal Thompson