you know of some sad news. Paul Raymond passed away
this morning, after spending a week in the hospital
with congestive heart failure. As of yet, there is no
news regarding a memorial service.
Some of you may have received an email earlier today
from NWS Alumni Council about his upcoming June 10
retirement party. In the email, they asked former
students to submit a 1-minute video clip about Paul. I
read this email on my way to the bus, after teaching
two classes on political poetry. I was thinking: "How
to sum up Paul's influence on my life in one minute?"
I didn't have to think long, as I recalled the
morning's lectures I gave on the importance of
political awareness and the many ways in which we can
express our involvement. Paul taught me that political
and social awareness belongs in the classroom, in our
lives, and in our hearts.
Paul was also a man of opinions, to say the least. I
remember a class on independent reading Paul gave
outside one rare, sunny day in front of the school. As
we sat in a circle, and just after Paul described the
Bukowski I was reading as "smut" (ya gotta love him),
Paul asserted that he was sure God agreed with his
opinions. Not a second passed before a pigeon dropped
a load on Paul's head. Who knows what God, or the
pigeon for that matter, was thinking. Paul, however,
thought it was hysterical and took it as a sign that
God did, indeed, agree with him. Paul had the courage
Just a moment ago, when I received the phone call
about Paul, it seemed unreal, the way death does when
it touches you. I cherished the few moments I had as I
walked to my bus this morning, when I had a moment to
think about how an amazing man affected my life.
Whatever your opinion of Paul Raymond, I'm sure you
have one. He was not a man whose life went unnoticed.
And nor will his death.
caracola, Class of '92