Do not be deceived by her size. A slender reed of a woman, or in another light, a serious little gray bird. Under all that, an intellect, lethally sharp and well-exercised. Linda was my professor, my mentor, my confidante. And once, in her kitchen, we vanquished a huge black beetle, that had crawled out of a spinach bag.
Note: I first saw Linda in a college production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when I visited my sister at college. I was probably 13 years old at the time. Years later, she appeared, as if by magic, as my freshman English Literature professor at a different college. In truth, her husband, who had spent his childhood in Africa, did most of the vanquishing. The beetle was mythic in size and glossy blackness.