Monday, December 5, 2011

Say Thanks Before It Is Too Late

Norman B. Macintosh - "N.B."
Recently, while facing a perplexing budget issue, I was telling a colleague of mine about a great professor who I was fortunate to have at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.  He taught an excellent course called the 'Social Software of Financial Accounting'.  He was either a singularly impressive professor or I am suffering from an increasingly poor memory because I can't recall another professor's name from that time.  Norman B. "NB" Macintosh was on loan to us from Queen's University in Canada where he was Professor Emeritus.  Dr. Macintosh received both research and teaching awards from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association during his career ("distinguished contribution to thought" and "outstanding educator," respectively).

The conversation with my colleague brought to mind the fact that I had allowed my correspondence with "NB" (nota bene ~ meaning to 'note well') to lapse.  I was determined to renew my correspondence with him and send him a note of thanks for the lasting impression he made on my education and my thinking.  I searched for his address in the international 411 directory and also found him in the Queen's University faculty directory.  I wrote my letter and searched for additional details about what he had been up to since NPS.  To my great dismay, I came across an "In Memoriam Tribute" to him on the Queen's School of Business website from 19 May 2011.  My heart sank.  I was too late.

The lesson for me (and perhaps for you) is not to wait too long to say thanks to those who have helped expand our minds and who have demanded more of us than we thought ourselves capable.

Thank you professor N.B.


LCDRLDO/6440 said...

If you only had one hour to live: Who would you call? What would you say? What are you waiting for?

Anonymous said...

I had heard once that he was to be knighted.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

The Navy and the life we lived as career Sailors caused us to meet many individuals that had a special impact on our lives. Many was the time that we admired an individual and never really took the opportunity to tell them what they did that was so impressive, it may have been their leadership, the dedication to their job, their loyalty to ship and Navy, or many other different things but many of us never took the time to acknowledge these acts. A lot of the time we took peoples actions for granted, and they ours. I am thankful for the computer and the internet, which have allowed people to regain contact that was lost; many have been regained by the use of this marvelous and quirky system. I have had numerous Shipmates of from 30 to 50 years ago that have contacted me because they have read something I have on the internet, or that I have located through such web sites as Together We Served, or even the white pages. It is indeed a good feeling to be able to thank those that rated the thanks, and to receive some good words from those that missed the chance to give them years ago.

Very Respectfully,