Father

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A picture of my father


William Laughner, Jr., a professor at Hiram College, taught microbiology, "hellular" cellular biology, and genetics. When he first began teaching, he would pace back and forth in front of the class, refuse to make eye-contact, and smoke cigarettes. By the time I started college, he had changed his approach and became quite creative. For example, one day he taught class in typical Indonesian clothing, complete with what appeared to be a parasol. In return, a class of his attended lecture in "Bill Laughner" costume, complete with a can of Diet Coke. But while he did have a sense of humor, he also worked intensely to ensure the academic success of his students, many of whom returned to Hiram to attend his funeral.

If I were to distill the single characteristic that best describes him, I would say that he had a remarkable sense of humor. His life philosophy seemed based on the ability to laugh at yourself. He gently encouraged others to this end. For example, he loved to tell long elaborate stories that began with the plausible and progressed to the absurd, or to start and end a conversation with a enigmatic phrase that could mean so much or nothing at all. Indeed, those walking through the Hiram cemetery may be puzzled by a simple headstone that reads,"We All Go Down In The Best of Company." I hope that in my life, I too can become the person that I want to "go down with."

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© Copyright 2002
All Rights Reserved.
Nissa Laughner'shomepage project Fall, 2002
In partial fulfillment of MMC 5015, Electronic Publishing
, taught at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.