One Mead Way
On a February morning two days after Regina Arnold's memorial service at Sarah Lawrence, I checked my voice mail at work. The system prompted me to delete the existing messages; the first was one that Regina had left a few weeks prior. Hearing her voice again, especially her words, "Bye, now," as she ended the call, stirred up a well of emotions: profound sadness that this was the last message she would leave for me, mixed with pleasant memories of a visit the month before, when I had the great pleasure of spending a wonderfully uplifting Sunday afternoon at her home.
We shared a meal and discussed many things, including the status of her most recent writing project; SLC and her work as associate dean, the challenges I faced in my new job (also in academic administration); an upcoming vacation I was planning to take with my extended family. In her gentle way, she reminded me not to work too hard and to take more time to enjoy life. She proudly showed me graduation photos of her son, Philip, and his artwork on display in the house. While not strong physically, she was clearly embracing life and appreciating every moment the present offered. Receiving visitors and watching movies with a friend brought her great joy: she admitted she was really enjoying action movies starring the actor Steven Segall! What a wonderful moment that was.
Even though Regina was booked with visitors for the next two weeks, she invited me to return whenever I wanted to. I was honored and expected to see her very soon.
Unfortunately, there was not enough time for another visit.
I struggle with words that accurately describe Regina's impact on my life. Perhaps the fact that I decided to pursue a doctorate in sociology the year after I enrolled in her seminar "Social Class and Inequality in the US: The Expanding 'Underclass'" is some indication of her influence.
I will miss Regina a great deal: her grace, wisdom, gentle and generous spirit, and ability to listen actively whenever you were in her presence. I consider myself fortunate to have spent time with her as a student inside her classroom and to have developed a relationship with her outside the walls of academe.
D. Crystal Byndloss '91 Mount Laurel, NJ
Note: Regina Arnold, longtime SLC faculty member and administrator, died in February. Another reminiscence can be read here.
I really just want to compliment you on a magazine ["Generations," Winter 2006] full of terrific stuff. It breathes Sarah Lawrence-filled with life, gripes, high hopes, action, fun. So many magazines drone on about fundraising and expensive personal trips to the Himalayas. You can't imagine my delight in learning that Rob Corddry did the honors during orientation week and that two freshmen got busy with Katrina relief. It was Mort Sahl and Hungarian Freedom Fighters in my day-same difference, same Sarah Lawrence. Congratulations on getting the news out.
Jill (Julia) Whedon '58 New York, NY