Sunday, May 15, 2005


Yesterday, I learned that Professor Ignacio Ocasio (known to most as Doc Oc) passed away. I, like most Case Western freshmen, had Doc for my introductory chemistry course. And though I can't say that I was especially close to him, his death has really made me think. The sudden death of anyone in our lives always reminds of our mortality, making us reevaluate things in our lives. But Doc Oc's passing has made me think about something very specific--teaching. Doc Oc was an incredibly sweet man, and one of the most dedicated teachers I've ever had. The man went to the freshmen dorms before classes started to meet with his new students and try to learn their names. He taught two classes of probably 300+ kids, but knew almost all of their names and faces well before the end of the semester. He was the type of professor that made me think about being a professor myself.

I've always played around with the idea of getting my Ph.D., but never felt certain that it would be right for me. Partly because so many professors seem so caught up in their own research and the politics of universities to care about the students. (I'll leave a discussion of such things to a later post.) But professors like Doc Oc, Doc Brown, and Mano Singham have made me realize that the teaching aspect of the job isn't always forgotten. And I quite like the prospect of being able to impact other people's lives in a positive way, as these professors have done for myself and others.

Doc Oc will most certainly be missed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've setup an online memorial for students and associates to leave their memories of Doc Oc --

Please leave a comment there pointing back to this entry. In the future, all of the memories will be collected and preserved in some way.

8:25 AM, May 16, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know what you mean. i wasn't exactly doc's numer 1 fan, but still, I was surprised at how upset I felt after hearing about him. He mentioend his surgery on the last day of class, and I just figured, "Oh, he'll be fine." I don't know, he was such a part of the school, as cliche as it sounds, Case really won't be the same without him there.

1:19 PM, May 17, 2005  

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