Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SPE 201

I think Mrs. Boyd would be pleased.

Linda Boyd was the Speech and Drama instructor at Urbana College, which is now Urbana University (I'm not sure when or why the name got changed, but it did) which is in the booming metropolis of Urbana, Ohio, population 11586. I started my college life there, partly because my grandmother taught there (biology and botany), but also because I got accepted there (if you know what I mean). It's a teeny tiny liberal arts school in central Ohio, north of Dayton. When I was there, there were less than 200 resident students and I knew most of them. There are about 1500 students enrolled there now, and they even have a graduate school. Who knew.

Because the school was so small, it was easy to participate in activities like the annual drama productions. I was part of the ensemble casts of Bye Bye Birdie and South Pacific which Linda directed. She was one of those great teachers, the kind you wanted to take all of her classes and to do well for, she was vivacious, fun, spunky. I'll always remember her with bleach-blond hair in her snug jeans and white Keds. She also directed the pep band and we played at the basketball games. Of all my years in college, I guess many of my fondest college memories revolve around things in which she was involved.

In the spring of my second year at Urbana I took Speech 201 from her. It was a great class and of course I got an A. I remember one exam. It was open-book and you had of choice of questions to answer, something like answer any eight of these ten. One asked for two types of persuasive speeches and I still remember the answer. Maybe I remember because it's just one of those things you remember, or maybe it was because Linda told me after class no other student had opted to answer that one, and she was proud of me. I thought it was an easy question. To persuade someone of something, and to change their mind about something. Easy.

Linda died much too early, if you ask me. I can't even remember how long ago now, maybe 10 years. I happened to be out in Ohio visiting my grandmother one weekend, the same weekend as the funeral. I went to the funeral home for the visitation, and was so depressed to see her lying there. The make-up artist got her coloring all wrong so in addition to being dead, she also looked sick. All the life and vitality she once exuded was gone.

This post started out to be about the persuasive speech I gave last night for the Parks and Planning Commission about the therapeutic programs Kevin participates in and enjoys and what else I'd like to see them do for us, and has instead turned into a memorial of sorts. Linda, I miss you. Thanks for everything. It went well last night.


greeny said...

I think it's a great post and the memories rising to the top are needed.
It's like finding a picture or card from Mother's Day made by my kids and stashed in a drawer. It reminds me of the very important times.

John said...

That's a tribute!