Professor Green was among the first faculty members that I became acquainted with about 7 years ago, as he always brought his classes to the library. He believed that once students understand the value of libraries, they will always come back for more. In the library classes, he would add comments and emphasize the importance of such library sessions. More than anything else, he wanted to make sure students understand how to write a thesis statement; how to narrow down a broad topic and just focus on one answerable question. He always came back saying that he sees improvements in the kind of sources students use after library classes.
Professor Green was a passionate teacher who dedicated his time and energy to his students. He believed in their capability to only get better and learn more. To prepare his students for their speeches, he would take the time to videotape them and then review the film with his students so they can see their body language and gestures and hear their own speech. In this way, students would learn from their mistakes and deliver better speeches.
Storytelling was his other passion. He taught his students to become great speakers by learning how to tell and re-tell stories to their audiences. At one time, I remember him connecting with other teachers from different parts of the world who, like him, believed in the power of story-telling. By taking beautiful pictures from the neighborhood buildings where he was teaching over the week to his visits to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on the weekends to his speech and communication classes, a true teacher, Professor Green taught us yet another way of telling stories.
Professor Green loved music and shared his passion with students many times. On his Facebook page, he often posted marvelous performances of global artists such as Anne-Sopie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma, just as he would post video shots of local festivals in Brooklyn. He believed that as a teacher he had more responsibility than just teaching according to the curriculum. He intended to open up the world and its beauties to his students and I think he succeeded in doing so.
When Cailtin Bernstein and I visited him in the hospital about 2 weeks ago he was frail but was determined to get better and come back to the college. He was avidly talking about his classes and his students. Before we left, I told him that we miss him at the library and that we expect him to come back as soon as possible, he quietly agreed and gave us a weak smile back.
I could go on and on about Richard, but I think it is now your turn to add your memories of him, as teacher, friend or colleague, to this post and thereby remembering a beautiful human being and keeping his memory alive.