Where the Rivers Meet

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I learned today that one of my colleagues here in Szolnok died on Saturday after a long struggle with cancer. I don’t want to go into details here, since that would break privacy–but the photo above of the Zagyva and Tisza is dedicated to her memory. I took it in November 2017 and showed it to her (the next day, I think). She told me that that very place where the two rivers meet had special meaning for her.

Immediately after I learned the sad news today–I read it in a memorial display in the hallway and did not believe it until I went back to my desk, picked up the dictionary, and looked up one word, the one word whose meaning I did not know, and which confirmed everything–I had to go upstairs to teach a class. Most of the students were missing; they were taking a “class exam” for a different subject. So I talked a little with the students who were there, and we sat quietly for a while. Later in the afternoon I picked up spirits and taught the philosophy elective; we began the first chapter of Plato’s Republic.

Sometimes it seems difficult to put together happiness and sadness, but they are not really that disparate; they both come from things that matter. More about the happy things another day.

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