Dear Mr. Wilson,
Thank you for your email. I am so saddened to learn of Anna’s passing and I want to wish you and Anna’s family my sincerest condolences in this difficult time. Unfortunately, I share with you the recent pain of loss. The winter quarter (the quarter Anna was my student) I had to cancel our second class because the father of my children (21 & 18) was fatally shot and his funeral was the day of our second class. The students of Soc127, including Anna, were extremely considerate and patient with me as I struggled through teaching so close to such a significant loss.
I did not have the privilege of getting to know Anna personally, however, I definitely remember and noticed her presence in my classroom. In fact, I was drawn to her face many times during lecture. In a sea of students who sadly spent class time to check their Facebook, instant message and complete online shopping, Anna was so attentive during my lecture that she stood out. I found myself making eye-contact with her throughout lecture and wondering what she thought of the material. She was a quiet student and always sat in the back of the class; I can not remember if she spoke up and shared with the entire class during the 10 weeks. However, I put students into small groups to work and as I walked around the class I could see that she engaged with her peers and had much to say about the topics we discussed. You mentioned that you read a draft of her final paper. I thought you may like to read her final submission; she earned a 92%. It is attached to this email. If I recall any additional thoughts or interactions I will share them with you.
I am pleased to hear that Anna and Amanda will be awarded posthumous degrees. I am not participating in commencement this year, however, I have already sent and will continue to send love and light to Anna and Amanda. I will also keep you in my thoughts and I send you strength as you begin the journey of processing your grief and loss. I wish I had words to make it better, but I know all too well that there is nothing to lessen the pain. I do not know your faith or belief systems so I do not wish to offend, but I want to share that I believe the father of my children is still with us.
He is not here in body as we want him to so desperately be, but he is present in the endless amount of butterflies, hummingbirds, or the mysterious coins that show up in my path every day. It gives me comfort to notice these signs of his presence in my life and I share it with you as perhaps a source of comfort; that Anna- your purpose- is watching over you now.
Peace and be well. <3
UCSD Professor, Heidi Schneider Via Email