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Monday, November 7, 2011

One of these mornings, you're gonna rise up singing

In my first semester at St. Olaf College, I decided to take Honors Calculus II. No idea why I made this decision. I guess masochism got the better of me... either that or it never occurred to my overachieving, type-A brain that instead of taking the exact math class I tested into, I could take Algebra, or the super challenging "Gateways to Mathematics."

Either way, I'm glad I opted for Honors Calc II, because it was in this class that I met my friend Sam Lee. Sam and I bonded over the fact that our professor was terrible and evidently did not know how to teach calculus. Class basically consisted of the prof, whose name I still can't remember, using the entire time to work through some random math problem that had nothing to do with Calc but was "SO COOL GUYS!!", effectively ignoring everyone's questions about last night's problem set. Half the time we never ended up even finishing his problem. So Sam and I would meet up in the dorm after class to teach ourselves calculus at the ripe age of 18. We even invented a new word: logicify. As in "we don't even need class, we can totally just logicify our way through this." Other hobbies included: mocking people who thought they were too awesome, and looking for double-entendres in the lyrics during Christmas Fest rehearsals (sorry Dr. A...sorry...)

Sam was a music major too, so we spent a lot of time together during our four years at Olaf. We worked on multiple class projects together, including one of my personal faves: an attempt at African rhythmic breathing (sadly I can't find a youtube video example...just trust me that it is crazy awesome). For my senior recital, we collaborated on a jazz that included Ellington and Gershwin, and finished with Summertime from Porgy and Bess. It was the most fun I had performing during my entire undergrad singing "career."

I'm writing this because I just learned that Sam was murdered in Indonesia at the end of October, while riding a pedi-cab from the airport to his hotel. He was traveling for work.

I have no idea what else to write, other than that I know he will be loved and missed. Sam was such a bright spot in the world - everything seems a little darker without him.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. That is so terrible.

    It seems inappropriate to write about something else, but you nearly trapping your cat in the dishwasher made me legit laugh out loud.

  2. Thanks - it really is shitty, but it's amazing to see how everyone who knew him is banding together to remember him.

    And yes...that totally happened. She's so sneaky I didn't even realize she was in there! Cats...I tell you.


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