[ My friend & mentor, Eric Jensen died on Monday in a motorcycle accident. ]

I met Eric almost exactly five years ago, to within the week. I was planning on being a Physics major, and was wandering the building introducing myself to professors in the hopes of finding an advisor. It really didn’t take long for me to decide to become his advisee – the giveaway was our matching red Converse All-Stars. We quickly became friends; I was in a class of his, and I joined the crew that played ultimate frisbee on Chapel’s field every Monday.

After getting over the confusion of calling him ‘Eric’ on the field and ‘Dr. Jensen’ in the classroom, I happily discovered our relationship was not similarly split – he was as engaging and fun in his lectures as he was in his playing. I went on to take a class of Eric’s every semester I was at Brandeis, and learned more from him than I can really express. He supported me, even though I never did much homework in his classes, and he taught me about physics and politics and beer. Much more than a professor and even more than a friend, he was a mentor.

And thankfully, our friendship didn’t end when I graduated. He introduced me to Richard Lee (getting me my first job out of college), and the three of us explored the restaurants of Boston with a bimonthly ritual of indulgence in good food, drink and conversation. He kept us up-to-date with all the Brandeis gossip, and even came all the way in to Cambridge to see El Vez, the Mexican Elvis. Though he sometimes chided me for my age, he never treated me differently because of it – I wasn’t some former student of his, I was a friend.

I can only hope someday to positively affect so many people’s lives like he did. To carry on the spirit of his camaraderie & mentorship is the best way I can think of to honor his life and accomplishments. I’ll miss him, and remember him always.

posted September 12, 2001 – 8:28 pm
Old News
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