This fall, the Grolier Codex, an ancient Maya picture book, has been authenticated. It’s the real deal. Sometimes, in science, it can take a lifetime to determine the truth. With scientists, like Tony Aveni who first introduced me to the codex’s pages, the determination takes on more human aspects. His introduction to archaeoastronomy class unleashed a curiosity about ancient cultures that propelled me to a career in archaeology. His compassion, integrity, and commitment to teaching have provided a guiding light as I followed it.
Professor Aveni is by far the teacher who has made the biggest impact on my life. He is my mentor and my dear friend. He has always helped me see the big picture and can make any abstract concept relatable through his limitless collection of stories.
Academics is one thing. But we’ve plumbed some of the mysteries of life, as well. There was that time when we learned never to eat popsicles in Mexico. And when we discovered that sometimes a sugar-coated birthday cake may be a ham sandwich in disguise. There was no sugar-coating our surprise!
I wish Tony and Lorraine many adventures ahead as they enjoy a well-earned retirement. I can’t wait to hear the stories!