The first time I sat in one of Professor Wiesel’s classes it was silent. Everyone held their breath as he spoke his first words to our class, responding to our stories of madness, tears and laughter. He smiled and quietly said, “And what about laughter? There was no story I heard that was about love.” I was completely shocked. How could I interpret the theme of the class to be just about sorrow? But that’s how Professor Wiesel was. He was so much more than a scholar or an author; he was a person of great humility and love. Amidst the greatest darkness in the world, he was the light that would always lead us toward love. Working by his side for the last two years was an honor. It was a great gift to see him walk through the door, put down his hat, sit down in his chair and ask, “I’ll have some tea, please.” Although I would see him less and less throughout the year, nothing could compare to how happy I was to see him and talk to him one more time about his stories and thoughts. I will truly miss him with all my heart. He was a great man and an even greater teacher and mentor to me. I will forever be grateful to have been his student.
—Maria Castro ’12