Everything is Simple

Oh, Arlen. You’ll be missed.

Oh, Arlen. You’ll be missed.

Let’s get just a tad more depressing…

So, today the Rehabilitation Club on campus was administering depression screenings. I got screened for depression, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The results of the screening indicated I demonstrated signs of major depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD.

At least we know I definitely don’t qualify for mood disorder.

Granted, these are screenings, but my scores indicated I was comfortably within the range of each disorder/depression I showed symptoms for. Last year, I only demonstrated signs indicating major depression, but my numbers were lower.

Then, the icing on the cake…

My high school English teacher, the one who pushed me to enhance my writing more than anyone had pushed me before, died today. Word making its way around Facebook indicates a blood clot was largely responsible and that she was in critical condition, on life support, in Tyler.

The last time I saw her was at a funeral for a student a year younger than me. It was last December and she held my hand through part of the service. She inspired so many students to seriously consider the quality of their writing — and was very strict about which words were and were not appropriate in adult writing. This post would already be marked up like crazy and have a big fat F on it, were she to grade it.

She also inspired me to embrace literature, to be civil while maintaining my viewpoints, and she sparked so many fascinations I’ve had over the years with anything ranging from poetry to American Indian culture to American Literature.

Going through old Facebook messages, I’m amused at her pragmatic approach to social networking. Some of her messages read:

"Just wanted you to know that I miss you. Hugs and Hugs."

"Just got up early to talk to you, and you weren’t on line. Nothing to say… just talk. Hope all is well. We were in Nac yesterday, but didn’t know how to get in touch with you to buy you a Coke or other non-alcoholic refreshment. Let me hear from you sometime.."

"I’m blessed to know you… even though you don’t tell me when you are in town. Happy B’day."

"Happy holiday. I’d spell Hanukah but don’t know if I am spelling it correctly or not. Have a good one, Max."

I’m glad I’ll always have her on the record saying all of those things.

I love her and I shall miss her dearly.

Arfa Karim Randhawa ارفع کریم رندهاوا

(1995 — 2012)

May you rest in peace.

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Yekaterina Golubeva (1966-2011)

Rest in peace, soul sister.

Rest in peace, soul sister.

Aunt Elaine (1929-1968)
I wish I could say I knew her.

Aunt Elaine (1929-1968)

I wish I could say I knew her.

Peter Falk (1927-2011)
Gotta go solve some mysteries in Heaven…

Peter Falk (1927-2011)

Gotta go solve some mysteries in Heaven…

Zoë Tamerlis Lund (1962-1999)

Zoë Tamerlis Lund (1962-1999)

Kill Your Idols

Thanksgiving 2001.  School was out, I didn’t have a car, a girlfriend, and most of my friends were out of town.  I spent most of the break listening to The Beatles’ later albums, with emphasis on George Harrison’s contributions.  I also remember experimenting with my new turntable and my vinyl box set of Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.  When we returned to school the next week, I would long for the chance to come back home and sink into my futon while blasting Cream’s “Badge” (on which Harrison performed) or “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from my $30 Wal*Mart boom-box.  Then, at the end of that week, it was reported that Harrison was dead.  I specifically remember reading some of his song lyrics in a Beatles Illustrated lyrics book that I had before going to bed that night.  ”Here Comes the Sun” and “Within You Without You.”  The devastation was intense.  Not only was I a confused, angst-ridden teenager, but I had also been in the midst of bonding with Harrison’s artistry.

Not ten years later, I found myself obsessively listening to one of my old favorite songs, “Would?” by Alice in Chains.  Last night, I even posted the video on my Facebook.  My friend Leah posted the comment, “so sad” and another friend, Jessica, posted a frowny-smiley face.  But, I figured this was in reference to the content of the song.  Or maybe even in reference to the untimely death of Alice In Chains front-man, Layne Staley, some years ago.


Alice in Chains bassist, Mike Starr

However, after getting out of my Speech and Language Disorders in School Aged Children and Adolescents class, today, I walked into my room, double-clicked on “Would?” and began browsing social networks, catching up.  It was then that I noticed a tweet from Alyssa Milano: “Rest in peace, Mike Starr.”  Mike Starr being the bassist of Alice in Chains and “Would?” a song dominated by an awesome bass-line.

So, do I feel responsible for the death of Mike Starr?  No.  Absolutely not.  Well, maybe a little.  But, I can’t help but find it intriguing.  Last week, I probably hadn’t listened to Alice in Chains in years.