Being at the UC Library always brings back memories of my grad school days, and this drawing is inspired by thoughts of a particular grad stuent who I only knew in passing. He was from Nigeria, and I cannot recall his name, but we always had pleasant chats whenever we crossed paths, usually on the late night shuttle that ran from the University of Michigan “Diag” on the main campus to the University Terrace apartments, right beside the U of M hospital. He and I were among the large number of mostly un-married graduate students who populated what was billed and UM “family” housing. We would joke about our minimalist accomodations — one-room efficiencies with coffee-colored linoleum floors — and commiserate about the challenges of qualifying exams and dissertation writing. Though we never really cultivated what could be called a friendship, I was always glad to see him, especially on those cold nights when we were huddled in the back of the late night security van.
So, here’s a toast to that graduate student in engineering, with whom I shared several pleasant conversations. Wherever you are, I hope you’re doing well, I hope you’ve publishing many articles and — most of all — I hope you have tenure!