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Charles Calleros

Over the Rainbow | Birthday Memories

Last year for my birthday, I asked my friends to send me stories related to our friendship. I spent my birthday taking a trip down memory lane, reading through all of them. This year, I asked some of my friends if I could share their memories with you.

Looking up in the ASU Law School rotunda - I think that's Calleros' office door on the right

Looking up in the ASU Law School rotunda – I think that’s Calleros’ office door on the right

Today’s memory comes from Professor Charles Calleros at ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. He was my professor for Contracts 1L year. His memory isn’t from the classroom, but from a late night at the law school.

In the fall of my 3L year, I attended an evening movie-and-discussion event that was facilitated by the LGBT law club at the school. I don’t remember what movie we watched, but we were all emotionally drained by the end. It was probably close to 9pm when we finished and emerged from the classroom where we’d been meeting. The rest of the building was quiet. Any students who were staying late to study were at the law library across the way.

My friend Stefi looked sad and exhausted, so I asked if she wanted me to sing for her, and she nodded. The middle of the law school building is a rotunda – a round two-story room with a glass dome ceiling that opens out to all the classrooms on the first floor. The second floor of the rotunda has a circular balcony overlooking the room below and is surrounded by faculty offices. The acoustics of this space are absolutely amazing and gorgeous.

Thinking that no one else was in the building, I positioned myself in the center of the rotunda, took a deep breath and started to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I had no idea that Professor Calleros was working late that night, until I saw him standing at the balcony railing as I started the second verse. As he remember it:

A few years ago, I was working after hours at ASU College of Law, in my office on the second floor, near the balcony that overlooks the rotunda. I stopped working when I heard a beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” coming from the first floor rotunda, sort of like Eva Cassidy come back to life. I left my office and walked the few steps to the balcony to take it in. It sounded like yearning, a dream, a heartfelt plea for justice. It was Ruth, and it was beautiful.  

As I finished the song, he silently nodded in thoughtful gratitude and retreated to his office. No words needed to be spoken.

ASU Law Awesome Awards

I have been lucky to have some amazing professors during my time at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  With graduation approaching, I polled my classmates and asked them which professors deserved awards for their excellence in teaching or dedication to students.  These are the results:

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Best In-class Quotes: Andy Hessick
I took a class from him two years ago, and I still remember, “When someone cuts off your face, you don’t get your face back. You get money. It’s a substitute.”

Best Open Door Policy: Chad Noreuil
I don’t know how many times I popped by his office hours to vent, get advice, and re-gain some perspective on life.  He always said that he was there for his students, and you knew he meant it.

Best Comedian: Doug Sylvester
He explained concepts brilliantly and he always did it in a way that made me laugh.

Best Heart-to-Heart Talks: Judy Stinson
She is the best person to talk when you need a conversation about law school or life without the professor-student relationship getting in the way of her awesome advice.

Best Rants: Michael Berch
You never knew what he would say next.  Every class was a jaw-dropping performance.

Best Professor for Showing Students the Big Picture: Bob Clinton
Taking his classes hurts your head because you have to understand the historical and social issues that correspond to the legal issues in each case.  It makes his classes challenging, but you get more out of them.

Most Dedicated to the Student Experience: Shelli Soto
She is devoted to helping students make the best of their experience at law school & celebrates the student perspective.

Most Knowledgeable: Tom Williams
The man knows everything about everything from policies to professors.  He’s also the best person to sit next to at an event because he knows Berman’s speeches so he’ll know when they’ll be over.

Biggest Heart: Charles Calleros
It only takes one conversation with him to know how dedicated he is to his students.

Awesome Adjuncts: Larry Cohen, Troy Foster, Andy Halaby, Bill Richards, & Anne Tiffen
These professors are known for their incredible knowledge base and for providing a valuable real-world element to their courses.

Most Dedicated to Helping Students Achieve their Dreams: Michael Bossone
When I was a 1L, his entire job was helping students achieve their dreams.  Even after he left the law school, he was always there when we needed his encouragement or guidance.

Honorable Mentions: John Becker, Marianne Alcorn, Chuck Dallyn, Amy Langenfeld, & Mary Sigler

Thank you all for you energy and dedication to the graduating class of 2011!

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