Fall 2022 Memorial Project

In this space, I—along with my Fall 2022 English 203 students—present our memorial project, a collection of pictures, stones, names, and stories.

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These three cairns stand in memory of three former students of mineElizabeth Caines, Deb Ebert, and Traycie Mitchellwhose time here was cut far too short due to cancer and other health issues. They were bright and energetic individuals, and they transformed the classroom space with these qualities, along with their unyielding intellectual curiosity. As a teacher, I'm used to being a stop along the way on my students' journeys, to hearing from them every so often as they move on with their lives, so it's particularly sobering when those journeys abruptly end. They didn't know each other, but they are certainly united in the fact that each of themin passing through my classroomenriched me as both a person and teacher. They are missed.                                                          Rocco Versaci           

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In memory of Shahar Argov and Rachel Burnett, two women who were family even though I didn't know them well. Who died far too young and suddenly. Who left husbands and children behind. May they rest in peace.                                                                        —Lorelei Marcus

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The memorial I chose to create on campus was for my great grandfather, Nick Hughes—or  as I called him "Opa." He was a colonel in the army and to this day is one of my biggest inspirations. He fought in Vietnam and loved our country. My great grandfather was my biggest mentor and unfortunately passed away three years ago from dementia. Since my father had never been around, he was the father figure in my life. He helped me learn to drive and scare my prom date senior year of high school. There are many characteristics of him I strive to emulate every day. I miss him dearly and he always pushed me to pursue my education. Because of him I am a first-generation college student.                                                                 —Madison Hughes

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In loving memory of my farmor (grandma) from Sweden, Maj-Britt Rosen. I wish I could have had more time to know her. I was very young when I visited her, so most of what I know has been passed to me from my parents. They told me that she was such a kind and patient woman, that she loved her family very much. When I think of her, I mostly remember her house—the many rooms neatly kept and decorated, the earthy smell of her basement, her sitting room that was of floral prints and pastels, and her kitchen where she once made us cinnamon buns. Thank you for making this world a better place, farmor. Rest in peace.           —Sophia Segerstrom

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Here is the cairn I set up on campus. I am fortunate enough to not be able to remember anyone that I would want to memorialize (or perhaps unfortunate to not remember any of them), which made finding a spot and idea somewhat difficult. It was also annoying to set this up in the rain, but having an umbrella, and using it to shield myself from the rain, I decided to shield the cairn from the rain. I would dedicate this to those wandering in the rain, looking for someone with an umbrella (That’s about as poetic as I can get).                   —Quentin Querido

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This cairn is dedicated to my 13 year old pup who passed away recently. I lost her 3 months ago. I got her when I was six years old and she had just turned one. She was my guardian angel and not a day goes by that I don't think about her, but I know she's still watching over me. She lives within every sunset, the flowers, the butterflies, in every beauty. She was a very adventurous dog and even as she got older, she didn't let anything slow her down as an old gal. She was the queen of the house. I have two other dogs who greatly looked up to her and who miss her dearly. I know the memories of her will always live on. She'll forever hold a place in my heart, my precious Kiwi.                                  —Mercedes Betancourt

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This cairn is dedicated to my grandfather, Rolando "Roly" Rasi. He passed away late in 2020 after a long battle with dementia. He had a sharp wit and a wonderfully dark sense of humor, and he had a wonderful singing voice.                                                                                       —Lisa Sand

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My memorial is for a close friend of mine who took his own life December 23rd, 2019, named Noah. He was as close as my own brother to me. He was 23. His younger brother, my best friend, found him hanging in the garage. I pray he is at peace now, no longer in pain.                                                                                                     —Jesse North

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For this assignment, I have chosen to memorialize my grandma. Her name was Linda Sanderson and she passed away before I was born so I never got the chance to meet her, which is why I'm dedicating my memorial to her. A memorial is supposed to honor someone and keep their memory alive; I feel empowered by the memories my mom and aunts share with me about my grandma, like I know her without ever meeting her. I know she was a wonderful woman and made an impact on this world. I am blessed to have been given her name as my middle name, I know my mom wanted to honor her in a special way. So, whenever I read my full name, I'm reminded of my grandma and how special she was. My grandma holds a special place in my heart and that's why I did not hesitate to create my cairn for her.                                                                                   —Jenna Linda Handschumacher

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This cairn is for my grandmother who passed away in 2018. She was a kind and caring person who never hesitated to stand up for what she believed. She is missed by many.   

                                                              —Eva Laubach

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I built this memorial shrine next to the H Building, dedicated to my late cat of 8 years, Figaro.                                           —Elias Vizcarra

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My cat April is who I set the cairn in honor of. I placed it in front of this tree and bench because she loved to climb trees in her younger years. As she grows older, she loves to sunbathe in the sun and sit anywhere she possibly can. April is a wonderful cat who is extremely social and full of love. She leaves a great impression on everyone she meets. She deserves happiness till the end of her days.                                   —Diego Czarnowski

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With this cairn, I am memorializing my first pet, Annie. She was a small black terrier and lived to be sixteen years old. Annie can be acknowledged as the creator of my love for animals, and also an important companion for me in my childhood years.  I chose Annie to memorialize because, previously when she passed away, my family planted flowers and decorated the spot in the ground where she was buried. Since then, we have moved and no longer can access her burial spot, so I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to memorialize her in my own way. Her death really impacts me, even to this day, because during her burial I witnessed my father cry, an experience I have only had two times I have in my life. Seeing my father break down allowed me to have huge revelations about the power of grief and also helped me learn how humans cope with the inescapable nature of death. The impact Annie had on me, both throughout her life as well as in her death, and the amount--that even to this day--my family misses her, makes her beyond deserving of a memorial.         —Ciara Prentice

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My cairn is for my grandma, Anne. We aren't related by blood, but our families have been close for decades and she is the only grandma I've ever had. She's still alive but has dementia, and it's gotten so bad she doesn't remember me anymore. She lives in Washington with my aunt, and when I was little, she'd pay for our plane tickets so we could see her a few days every year. She can't do much for herself anymore, but she was a lively person before the dementia. She still sends me cards for every holiday with fun stickers as she always did, but she can't write anymore. It wouldn't matter if she did, though. She doesn't remember me or my name, but she remembers my birthday as being a special day, and that she loved me. It's fitting that I set up the rocks in the rain, considering how much time she spent in it, living in Washington and all.               —Eden Brewer

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I’ve chosen to dedicate this memorial to my late grandfather who passed away last year. I was unfortunately not able to get to know him as well or spend time with him all that often because he lived in Ecuador for most of my life. He was my mother’s father who raised her and her three sisters and brother all by himself since his wife, my grandmother, died when my mother was only 6. I had gone with my parents to visit my family in Ecuador and would see him there. He loved to watch old American western shows, one of his favorites being Bonanza. When I think of him and not being able to have many memories of him, it saddens me at times, but I still get to hear all kinds of stories from my mom of what he was like as a father to her and her siblings and it makes me happy. I’m so glad that he gave my mom the strength to become the strong and independent woman she is. I think he showed her what an amazing and loving parent is. I will always be grateful to him for being there for my mom and for loving me from afar and cheering me on. The spot I chose to put my memorial is by the Brubeck Theater, I chose this spot because he was unfortunately not able to see me sing or perform, but I hope that if he is somewhere out there in heaven or in spirit he can see and hear me perform to represent our family and what we can achieve.                                                                                                        —Tanner Mejia

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My guitar is something I want to remember forever. It’s an instrument that gives me solace and peace when everything else around me is going crazy. Classical, acoustic, classical, fingerstyle… there are so many ways that my guitar allows me to remember what I care about. My brother gifted me this guitar, it has been with me ti countless worship practices, its neck is a smooth and comforting feel in my hand. The width and warmth of the body as it reverberates against my chest reminds me of home.                                                             —Matthew Moses Huang