Spend time with her. Share the things you’re excited about with her and share her happiness, too. Be honest with her. Trust that she can handle herself. Be nice to her family and friends. Take care of her when she’s sick and try not to be too much of a burden when she does the same. Don’t stick your penis in other people. Take her out to nice places.
Greg Steffan was my absolute favourite prof in undergrad. He taught, among others, my favourite class: Computer Organization (microprocessor architecture and assembly programming).
He always had a different way to explain things when people had trouble. His course notes were so good you didn’t need to attend lectures. But you did, anyway, because he taught with such clarity and enthusiasm.
After being diagnosed with ADHD after the train wreck that was my first attempt at second year, it was his class that began a series of nearly or exactly 4.0 GPA years.
When you averaged my undergrad grades, it still wasn’t the greatest picture, but with a letter from Greg and a couple of others, I was accepted into a non-thesis Masters. The summer just before I started, it was Greg who hinted that he didn’t have funding for a grad student THAT semester. So, I took one of his classes with the intent of impressing the fuck out of him.
He took me on for a thesis second semester.
Under Greg, I was published, attended conferences (the furthest in Romania) and did some really cool research that got the attention of people I had only read about with interest.
I met Greg’s lovely wife and young child (didn’t have a chance to meet his newest). Found him as compelling a husband and father as I knew him to be as a thesis supervisor.
I tell you all this so that you will know how much of a loss everyone he’s mentored feels after his passing on Wednesday, just a month shy of his 42nd birthday.
Greg, you will be missed. Missed because while we had you, your time was well-spent not only advancing the state of the art in computer engineering, but also in driving so many others to great success.
I went to Hebrew school twice a week until the 7th grade. I learned to speak the language (though, honestly, I’ve retained almost none of it), studied Jewish cultures and the history of Israel and, every year, learned about the history of persecution and systematic murder of my people. The Holocaust may have been the largest, but it certainly wasn’t the first.
I remember our teachers, Canadian-born Jews, Israeli-born Jews, telling us that we learned about these horrors so that we would not allow them to happen again. I had my doubts about the necessity then, but I do not anymore.
I think one of the underlying messages we were being taught was not that we should not allow these kinds of things to happen again. That’s a bit obvious. I think we were being taught to recognize the early warning signs of something terrible. So that we may fight back, or run before it is too late.
This wasn’t some backwards country in the third-world. This was France. Paris. The City of Light. This was not even the first anti-semitic riot there this year. This is how it always starts. How much longer can we assume it is a false positive indication?
France’s politicians and community leaders have criticised the “intolerable” violence against Paris’ Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars.
It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city’s Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”, as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as “little Jerusalem”.
How would one go about translating Kristallnacht into French? This was a pogrom, plain and simple.
Tell me again that Jews have it comfortably these days.
If you are learning new words today, like Kristallnacht and pogrom, welcome to the terrifying history of the Jewish people. Sorry, history is the wrong word. This happened this past Sunday.
If I ever disappear from the world for a long time, check police records across this continent for news that everybody who has ever significantly hurt any of my close friends has been murdered in messy, violent ways.
At times like these, I imagine an important decision as a fork in the road. The smart, sensible choice: a long path to the east. The stupid, dangerous option: a winding road through uncertain terrain to the west.
Then, there I am. Facing east with my head held high. Walking briskly backwards.