Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In Memory of Jessica Gelok

In the Fall 2004, I taught the College Experience course at our Wanaque campus. As usual, I also taught a CIS 101 course. Due to the meeting times of these classes, I had a few students that took both courses.

The College Experience class gave me a chance to get to know students a little better than the CIS 101 course does. I remember the first day having students introduce themselves, and I remember one woman who was a Human Services major. I was a little surprised, because many students at the Wanaque campus don't want to go in to Paterson to take courses, and in the case of Human Services majors, end up simply doing a Humanities major in preparation for transfer. I also remember that she was a little older than some of the other students - she wasn't right out of high school - and that showed in her work ethic in both classes.

Some students keep in touch, and others don't, and that's life, but many of the names remain with me. I was talking with a colleague yesterday, and he had the paper. I noticed the name Jessica Gelok somehow, and stopped him. The article stated that Jessica had died after being struck by a car on Route 23.

Twenty six is too young to die.

RIP Jessica

3 comments:

David J. Csuha, CPP, CFE said...

Eric,

My condolences on the loss to her family and you.

One of the reasons I always enjoy teaching at PCCC is that we really are a community in my opinion. The professors feel a sense of achievement when our students gain success. On the other side of the coin, we equally feel a sense of loss and concern when tragedy strikes our students.

At the very least, this young lady had the very fortunate experience of taking courses with you as the professor.

Professor Cameron said...

David, thank you for the kind words. I suppose the thing that's difficult is that sometimes you just don't know, about many things in life.

This is totally off my topic about what I usually say here, but what the heck.

In high school, one of my best friends was a guy named Jim. He went in to the Merchant Marines as I went to college, and we kept in touch via email. Eventually, he stopped replying, and I just didn't give it a second thought, and then a few years later, a friend of mine from high school told me that he had died of an aneurysm.

There's so much pain in this world sometimes, and it comes so unexpectedly at times. It is just shocking to run in to a situation that reminds one of the lack of control that we all have, I suppose. I tell you this - I looked around my classroom today and really LOOKED in the students' eyes. I just can't imagine seeing any of them pass away.

Anonymous said...

"When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another" - Helen Keller