twenty (?!?) years later

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In an attempt to avoid grading this evening, I decided to do a quick Google search on the name of an old college friend with whom I'd lost touch after graduation--Cecilia Mu�oz.

Cec was an "RD" (resident director) in the dorm where I was an "RA" (resident advisor). I have many fond memories of spending Sunday mornings in her room our senior year--we'd listen to Brandenburg concertos and eat bagels (on good days, bought at Zingerman's) while we did our homework. As you might imagine, early Sunday morning isn't a busy time, even in a dorm like ours (which held over 1400 freshman and sophomore students), so it was precious quiet time for us.

At one point that year, she invited a few of us home to meet her family in Detroit. They were immigrants from Bolivia, and her mother cooked the most wonderful meal for us--explaining the significance and origins of the various foods she prepared. I don't remember any of the dishes, but I do remember how incredibly delicious it all was!

After we graduated in 1984, we went our separate ways. I got occasional stories about how she was doing from a mutual friend, but then he and I lost touch as well.

I hadn't thought about her in a very long time, but tonight for some reason her name surfaced in my mind, and I did what any 21st century blogger would do--I googled her.

Much to my delight, I discovered that she has become what one biographical source calls "an intense, prominent voice on behalf of Hispanic American rights." She's now the vice president of The National Council of La Raza, a major advocacy group for hispanic immigrants. She's debated Pat Buchanan on CNN, been interviewed on the NewsHour on PBS, and testified at a number of congressional and senate hearings.

None of this surprises me at all. She was smart, funny, and passionate about things she believed in. And it's wonderful to see that she's parlayed that not only into personal and professional success, but also into bettering the lives of others.

You go, girlfriend. I'm proud to list you as one of my friends...even if it's a friendship that's grounded in the past rather than present.

Update
Looks like she won a Macarthur "genius" grant in 2000!

2 Comments

I did the same thing last year with a bunch of people I went to school with in Englanmd 20 years ago. Turns out most of the crowd that pestered me in the boys school I attended met a bad end.

Several had done jail time. Three were dead (suicide, car accident, murder) a few had "made it" which for that school meant "got a job and are reasonably self-sufficient" and the one guy we always thought would make a great insurance salesman was -- well -- selling insurance.

None of them had families, so my tales of diapers etc. fell on deaf ears. And, living as I do a full 8 time zones to the west of them, I am happy to say that I am here and they are there.

And sometimes 20 years of space is a sweet blessing.

As a military brat, I went to three different high schools in three different countries. After moving to Kansas City last summer, I googled my friend Doug, with whom I'd gone to high school in Belgium twenty years ago. Turns out he has an office within walking distance of the university where I work.

Small world, indeed.

 

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on March 24, 2003 10:30 PM.

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