Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Of clouds and other fleeting things (cloud watch redux)

'Scudding' was the operative word yesterday as the fragile and ragged cumulus made haste in traveling across the great blue sky. It warmed up as well -- the warmest we've had in quite a while. Soon, we'll be complaining about the heat, but for now, it's lovely.

Hard at work in the coal mine, I hardly got out to enjoy the weather. When I finally did get out, I made my way by the miracle of electrical subterranean light rail (the subway) to that fabled isle of Manhattan. My destination: a birthday party.

One of my old professors has turned eighty. How time flies! He was looking well, despite a recent and quite perilous fight with cancer, not the first these last few decades. He's lost weight since I saw him last, but otherwise he seemed himself, alert and warm, with the usual twinkle in his eye.

This man is one of those teachers not everyone can appreciate. His style was always very hands-off, allowing and encouraging students to follow their own lights. The problem is, many students don't have any light!

But he'd never say that. He's also one of those persons who would hardly ever say something bad of any person. He was forever telling you how this and that person he met was a 'good soul.'

A great traveler, my old teacher was a pioneer in using the Internet and World-wide-web for education and advocacy work. He's traveled all over the planet helping schools and organizations in developing nations get online. I remember well his insistence that all of his students get online -- back in 1993, when the Internet was quite a bit more primitive than it is now, and the web was hardly in existence.

Although retired and recovering from cancer, he's been active, and I bet he'll be out and about before you know it, encouraging everyone around him to see better in the world, and to work to make what's better grow.

God willing, he'll be around for many more years to come. But I know we're all just scudding clouds, borne away upon the winds of time.

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