aerdran: (Jason)
At three o'clock this morning, Dr. Ingeborg Urcia died as she lay in Intensive Care. She'd been suffering from cancer for awhile, and finally succumbed to it. I didn't know her overly well, but I'd had three classes from her and I enjoyed her teaching of literature immensely. She was intelligent and quite a strong person, having lived through the Holocaust and migrated to the United States to get a Bachelor's Degree in English in two and a half years and to end up with her PhD at the age of 23. She was quite a remarkable woman and will be sorely missed at Eastern Washington University. Apparently she fought the idea of pain medication because she didn't want her mind to get fuzzy and she wanted to continue to work. Admirable, that.

I found out quite a few things about her today from Dr. Logan in my lit class, and it struck me just how we can go through life meeting many people and interacting with them in very meaningful ways and yet never knowing much of anything about them. She had a book published recently on her experiences with the Holocaust, and I must read that this summer. I did, after all, learn something about Medieval literature from her last year as well as getting a dose of Children's literature awhile before that. I think it's only right that I give her a small tribute on here as well as support her writing by reading what she wrote. I've heard it's quite a good book. I will be finding out soon. It also strikes me that there are some classes she taught that I would have really been interested in taking. In fact, I was greatly looking forward to taking a class on Chaucer from her next winter. I'm not sure if it will be taught anytime soon now. I hope so. She'd be quite upset to know that her beloved Chaucer had to be put off. She also taught the Old English language and I'm not sure if anyone can take her place there. If none of the current professors are able, I have no idea if they'll be hiring a new one, considering the budget crunches that have been occurring all over. Damn shame.

Hindsight really is 20/20, I've noticed. I sit back and think how I would have planned things differently had I known that Dr. Urcia wouldn't be with us much longer. Likely, I wouldn't have put off classes and the like, and I would have tried to get to know her a little better. I remember joking around with her and Dr. Logan a couple quarters ago when I took a directed study on Herman Melville with Dr. Logan. She didn't look at all sick then, so I had no idea. It's amazing how sometimes you can't see the value of getting to know someone until it's too late. I guess that's a part of life, isn't it? Live and learn (hopefully). It happens to pretty much all of us at one time or another. I guess that we need to learn to value those around us a little bit more before we lose the chance to let them know that they're important. Or, I suppose, before we lose the chance to realize how important those around us are.

With all of the people I've gotten to know in my life, particularly the past few years, I realize how even a person that seems to society to be worthless and a drain can very well become a very important person in one's life. Worth can be very hard to see sometimes, but we can't let that hold us back from trying to find it. Lately I've been very much aware of the value of people in my life, and I've done what I could to let them know it. Some of these people I don't even feel worthy to know sometimes. But I'm certainly glad I do because it's enriched my life tremendously. I really am pretty damn lucky. I wish everyone were as lucky as I am.

As for Dr. Urcia, I will miss her. May she go on to a better place, wherever that might be. Maybe she can even meet Chaucer in person. That would tickle her no end. And he would be lucky to make her acquaintance.

Goodbye, Dr. Urcia.

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