My first impression of Professor Irving Dryman was that he was exactly what Don Rickles would have been had Rickles smoked a pipe, earned a PhD, and become a brilliant professor of psychology! The two men had a similar manner—both so sure of themselves, so quick and clever. Once, in an effort to stump Professor Dryman, a student asked him why he smoked a pipe. Dryman calmly retorted, “Unregenerate oral activity.” (Don Rickles would have tacked on “dummy.”)
In addition to being a character, Dryman was an inspirational professor, and his lectures were rich in ideas and concepts. When Professor Dryman handed me back a graded test paper and said, “Good paper, Friedman,” it meant more to me than a letter grade ever could.
Years later, as a high school mathematics teacher, I strived to empower my students with a belief in themselves, just as Professor Dryman had for me.
—Richard Friedman (’72)
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