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Erik Jurado '15
October 21, 2016
My journey to Professor Aveni’s classroom began the summer before my senior year of high school. I was doing yard work for a former neighbor of mine and—unbeknown to me at the time—former archaeoastronomy student of Professor Aveni. When Debbie Tear Haynes (class of ’78) asked me what I wanted to study in college, I now understand why she got so excited when I told her archaeology and Pre-Columbian cultures. She told me all about a professor named Aveni at Colgate University. I’m glad we talked that day because she pointed me in the direction of an incredible professor, mentor, and friend.
Whether in Astronomy and Culture, Comparative Cosmologies, or our Independent Study, Professor Aveni always challenged me to grow as a student and to have fun doing so. Classes and office hours began with an international handshake and recessed for funny stories and jokes. My favorite Aveni story? -Tikal George ordering cake for the first time in Guatemala City. One of the funniest Aveni moments? -Watching a lecture hall explode into laughter after his astronomy lecture arrived on the topic of anal temperatures of hibernating groundhogs!
All jokes aside, I can hardly express how much admiration and respect I have for Professor Aveni. His feedback is sincere, his mentorship inspiring. He often talks about how much his students motivate him to go into the classroom every day. I hope he also knows how much he motivates us as students to return to the classroom every day as well.
Profe, thank you so much for all your guidance and for opening up the world of Mesoamerica to me. I wish you and Lorraine the best of luck in your next adventure. This retirement is well deserved. Keep reaching for that brass ring. Erik a.k.a “Xbalanque”