In Arena 7/3/11

Visiting the kids in Arena, Wisconsin. Don’t know if I’ll get to the UW campus in Madison.  So many ghosts.

I was thinking of my mentor Irv Saposnik. I took a fabulous course in English Lit with him circa 1971. It was a Spring course and Irv let us meet out on the lawn from time to time. 40 years later I don’t remember many of the course details or even which books we read, but what remains are the “warm fuzzies” of a course greatly enjoyed and the sense that synapses were stimulated.

Years later Irv left the UW faculty having developed an abiding affection for helping students in other ways. After a ten year stint in Israel, he became the Hillel Director of the UW-Madison foundation, the very place where the fires were kindled for my interest in Jewish studies just a few years before.

I heard that Irv had passed a couple of years ago and I was a bit surprised to learn that it was back in 2003. He was only 67 at the time, and I’m sad to think of all the young minds he could have influenced with a few more years.

Here I am in 2011. So many ghosts. But many fond memories.

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