Friday, August 17, 2007

Evening Post

Fuck. The first half of this post just got bloggered. I can't reconstruct it tonight, or ever probably, but just to provide a little continuity with the surviving portion, I wrote about the death of my favorite PSR professor, Doug Adams, and how taking his class Modern Art and Religion in America changed my life. I will write more about him tomorrow, since I can't do him justice tonight.

.......

Doug died in late July, and less than a week after his death I got an email from Gergo, the German Dept. PhD student (and friend of our friend Sabrina's!) who had taken over our Hungarian classes after Professor Mihalik was diagnosed with lung cancer. He said that no-one had expected it to happen, and so soon, but Agnes had died at about 6 that morning, July 31. Agnes was in her 40's, and while Doug's death was expected to a degree, or at least led up to, her death was a total surprise to me. She told us about her diagnosis in class just four months before her death, and I couldn't believe that she ...was dead, and so quickly.

Agnes was a wonderful teacher, and more than that a wonderful presence. She projected an intense warmth and vibrancy, and it was wonderful to hear her talk about her favorite Hungarian bands and TV Shows, and American romantic movies (she loved Titanic). I regret what a shitty Hungarian student I was, and especially the times that I blew off class. In particular, once Sarah and I decided we weren't going to spend a semester in Transylvania I lost a great deal of my sense of urgency to learn Hungarian, and that affected my involvement in the class. I wish I had done better, and stuck with it, impossible damn language that it is. I feel that, instead, I was a disappointment to someone I liked a great deal, and in the process cheated myself out of getting to know her better. What can you do, though, besides drink and listen to Stan Getz albums?

So that's one of the big themes from my summer. The other is travel, and maybe I'll have the energy to write about that tomorrow. I think I'm about done for the evening, though. I'll try to chase this admittedly morbid post with some pretty pictures from the last few months.

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