This is Professor Lindsey Whitehead. I just learned that he died yesterday morning.
Pardon me for saddening up your dash, but whatever. You should know about this man, even for just a few minutes before you forget about him. Your life can never be as cool as it would have been after one conversation with this man.
He always came dressed up for class. He’d either wear a perfectly pressed suit, or maybe khakis and a nice sweater. One time in Sociology, he frightened the class because he had his sleeves rolled up. He had this slow, patient way of talking, like there was weight to each word he said. You couldn’t imagine this man ever raising his voice or getting too excited about anything. He was calm about everything. He had such a passion for people, and this… sort of Global Understanding, I guess. He knew about other races, cultures, religions… every little thing that could possibly make a person who they are… he had an understanding of that. He loved people. I don’t mean “he loved meeting new people” or “he loved certain people when they were around”. I mean “He loved humanity”. He could tell you about other cultures, other countries, other people, and he could make you feel like you knew them, even if you never left the classroom. To hear him talk about the civil rights movement was a special treat. He lived through this, and he suffered injustices and discrimination, and yet he learned from it all. To hear him talk… there was no note of bitterness in his voice. He had a complete acceptance of everything that happened in his life, and took it all as a learning opportunity. He never resented people for what they may have done to him or to anyone else during that time. And he was so happy to see how far we’ve come, but was not blind to what still needs to be fixed. And he took all of this life experience and brought it to the classroom.
That’s only a piece of who he was as a person. I didn’t know him outside of the classroom, and only had a few opportunities to have personal conversations with the man, but that one small piece of him was enough to make a huge impact.
Rest In Awesome, sir.