Sunday, March 22, 2015

Grief and gratitude

Pradeep Lele, my friend and colleague of seventeen years, has died. His memorial service is Thursday, and the Lone Star College family will gather to pay tribute to his significant contribution to our lives, both professionally and personally.

Pradeep was one of the magnificent reference librarians LSC-North Harris has, who teach research techniques to our students. He did so with the patience of Job and the humor of Jonathan Winters. The reference librarians also prepare research guides for instructional assignments. He prepared a meticulous guide on the Veterans History Project for my freshmen English class (see blogpost 10/26/14 to learn more about this oral history project). His carefully prepared guide provided students with media and print references for each of the wars and military conflicts American veterans have fought in, from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The guide helped students have a schematic for interviewing veterans.

The research guide Pradeep prepared for my class is one of many he prepared in collaboration with faculty. Next year, there will be another group of students who will use his guide as part of their preparation to interview veterans. His guide will stand as one of the tributes to this man's gift for research and love for his profession.

"Grief and gratitude are kindred souls," writes Patricia Campbell Carlson, "each pointing to the beauty of what is transient and given to us by grace." I am feeling both grief and gratitude today as I mourn my friend. Grief over losing such a kind, intelligent, caring colleague, and gratitude for having known him.