I don’t talk about my college experience a lot in this space. Mostly it’s because I felt a lot of guilt over the fact that I didn’t *LOVE* college the way most people love college. My first semester brought my first significant boyfriend, who was connected to a particular group on campus. When we broke up, I was unfortunately still living with the women in that same group, and I felt really isolated. It seemed like he was ALWAYS around them, while trying to ignore our situation and what had happened. It wasn’t until the end of my junior year when I started to come to terms with it.
That semester, I took a Business Writing class by Dr. Brent Chesley. It was a class that will always stick with me, because it was the only class I had where there was NO ONE I knew in it. No one has any preconceived notions about me or what had happened. I couldn’t tell you a damn thing I learned in that class – it was an easy A – but I do remember, Dr. Chesley was one of the first people in a very long time who made me feel like I was accepted.
He was one of the first professors I found on Facebook a few year ago, and even more so, one of the few I made a point to keep in touch with. I was stunned to learn last week that Dr. C had died of cancer. I had no idea he was even sick.
This afternoon, I went back to campus for the first time in a very long time to celebrate his life. There was a part of me that still felt like the awkward 19-year-old who didn’t have an identity. But as I walked through campus with my friend, I discovered there was a much larger part of me that finally could look back on my time there with fondness, from the diabetic-inducing coffee drinks to the creepy boys that I now realized were probably trying to date me. Isn’t it amazing how there is room for all of those things in life – the yin and the yang, the pain and the laughter?
They opened up his office, and I was thrilled to see it was orderly, yet colorful, just like Dr. C had been. He was so full of contradiction – a lover of both Jane Austin and Diet Snapple, of Ferraris and donuts.
Today was an amazing day spent remembering an amazing soul. Good night, Person of Quality.