Sunday, October 24, 2010

College Reminisce: Imagine All the People

My class at RPI had about a thousand students, so I met a lot of people in college. It would have been hard not to. A handful of these classmates became very good friends, and I'm grateful. However, here are four RPI people who weren't my classmates, but who helped make my college experience that much more memorable.

Linda Strunk

Linda was the editor in chief of the school magazine ("The Engineer") when I joined that publication my freshman year. I was blown away by her amazing energy. She pushed people only as hard as she would push herself, but she really pushed herself hard. Not only was she hands-on, and detail-oriented, but she was an able manager and delegator. I learned that she had really good grades despite a demanding extra-curricular schedule. Her life outside of school was spent in pursuit of achievement, whether it was the classical guitar, or a coveted internship in Japan. To this day when I think about people with "drive", I think about Linda.

Randy Rumpf

During my work in the school magazine, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and getting to know Randy, an in-house graphics illustrator for the school. He was part of a very small staff in a far off building from the main campus. My visits there were business oriented at first, but Randy's easy charm and welcoming manner made me stay. He had great stories about the school, and life beyond school. His artwork and illustrations graced many of RPI's brochures, posters and signs, and the pride he took from his work was a great example to me.

Trish Doyle

Trish was one of the counselors at RPI's Career Development Center. She was one of the people who helped me with getting into a co-op program, a short-term job (six months) that emphasizes classroom learning. When I returned to school, I joined a group that worked with Trish to promote the co-op program on-campus. Trish was a delightful person to know, and became one of my favorite RPI people. She was always great company and she made "the institute" a nicer place, especially in my junior and senior years.

Ephraim Glinert

Professor Glinert taught "Computer Fundamentals" my freshman year, and he has the distinction of introducing me to UNIX, a computer operating system that I have used professionally in every job since I graduated. I don't remember why I was visiting him at his office, but I do remember him turning to his terminal, and logging in to check on something. The system he used seemed so much faster and sleeker than the system we freshmen used. "This is UNIX," he said. "You'll be lucky once you get on this; it's nicer than MTS." He was right.

I'm attending my 20th college reunion this month, so I'm posting some college memories.

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