It was one of my early teaching years. Although it was the 80's, vestiges of the open curriculum 70's persisted, and I was scrounging around for some material to suggest to students. One of the things I loved about the scheme was that it resulted in the "resource center" where all sorts of literary treasures lay on floors, between easy chairs, next to carpet squares, just waiting for the curious student. My own experiences with open curriculum in English and Religion as a student had led to my discovery of The Last Temptation of Christ, The Stranger, The Dead Sea Scrolls, Anna Karenina.
That day, I picked up a thin, worn book, one of those old paperbacks with the yellowed, brittle pages. It was entitled Childhood's End. A slim volume of science fiction, it held promise for engaging the average teenager. It was after school, so I sat down just for a few minutes to read. That was my introduction to Arthur C. Clarke. Later, my husband and I would watch his Mysterious Universe on the recently introduced cable TV.
So it is with a certain nostalgia that I mark his passing at age 90. Author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, he was literally a man of many talents. In an interview on his birthday this year, he suggested that he would like most to be remembered as a writer. So it is as a writer that I will mark his passing.