Sunday, November 14, 2004

Farewell, Professor

Yesterday, about four in the afternoon, I picked up the ringing phone and said, "Tita" (the common way to start a phone conversation here is not "Hello", but a mention of the receiver's name). I rightaway recognized Simone's voice on the other line. Simone is a secretary at our research group at The Civil Engineering Faculty of TU Delft. She brought a very sad news: Prof. Charles Hendriks, my promotor, my dirrect supporter and tutor, passed away at about six o'clock in the morning, in Barcelona. No further news was exchanged, except that he actually had been ill for a while.
I put down the receiver, still in disbelief. Not only that I couldn't rightaway get the idea into my head that I won't ever see him again at school. Not only that I would miss his friendly words everytime he happenned to see me in the hallway, or around his office. But also because I wonder if I would have a substitute promotor who is as nice, as fair, as competence as he was for my research. Prof. Hendriks was one of very few people I would say, "Please don't die on me!" to, for real.
Tomorrow will be a gathering at school, and I will surely come and see what's going to happen. After all, it's directly connected to my future, too. Farewell, Professor, I remember each of our meetings, your suggestions and wishes, and I will fulfil them in my dissertation. Dedicated to you.

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