I didn’t know Jim as a professor, but rather as the father of a close friend. I remember visiting his office with my friend and eating Smarties while examining a cool structure of the DNA molecule. I remember eating supper at his house and Jim beginning the meal with several jokes. He loved diet cream soda and root beer. I remember Jim giving his daughter and me advice and help on how to play Age of Empires. I recall the whole family gathering to watch a show in the evenings or listen to Jim read a chapter from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes.
When I would sleep over at the Miller house, I remember Jim coming in to sing with us before we went to sleep. I was always surprised at the deepness of his voice. I particularly recall him singing about the laughing kookaburra who “sits in the old gum tree.”
These memories make me smile. They also make me sad that I never got the opportunity to know Jim and interact with him in college as my professor.
Leah Amstutz is a first-year biochemistry major.