Amir has been on my mind quite a bit lately, particularly because his birthday is in a few short days.

A year ago, on Amir’s 28th birthday, I invited him out for beer and trivia night at a local pub that many of us from school frequent. It was a Tuesday. Tuesdays were a particularly busy day for Amir during Winter Quarter, but he came out to trivia night after his last class and we toasted his birthday (our trivia team also did particularly well at the trivia contest that evening).

Last night, our education school cohort went out bowling to celebrate Dabney’s 29th birthday. The last time that most of us were at Palo Alto Bowl was just over a year ago; we were there as a group and Amir was with us. Several of us spoke fondly of our memories from that evening. Aurora and Frank remembered how Amir drove part of the group to dinner and charmed his way out of a ticket when a cop pulled him over for making an illegal turn. Later that evening at the bowling alley, Amir wondered if it was a “Latin thing” to enjoy dancing, because Iliana and I (the two Latinas of our group that night) danced to and from our lane each time we bowled. The Amir stories continued last night, making us smile, as they do at so many of our formal and informal get-togethers. We missed him last night. We miss him at all of our milestones. But he is certainly with us.

This coming Thursday is Amir’s birthday, and our education school cohort will gather at Jon and Luke’s place for a pot luck dinner in his honor. Happy Birthday Amir. You are still with us.

Marcela Muniz, SUSE doctoral student

It should be no surprise to those who knew Amir longer than I did that he quickly made an impression upon his arrival at Stanford. I met Amir in September as a fellow 1st year doctoral student in the School of Education, and although I only knew him for six months, I can only think of him endearingly. He was so eager to learn about the new people around him at Stanford and truly reached out to the members of our education school community. I had many wonderful conversations with him on things intellectual and not-so-intellectual, and whether we were sharing food at the campus international food festival or sparring off at our weekly trivia night, Amir was always so much fun to spend time with. Above all, Amir was a caring, giving soul…. a wonderful human being that I will miss dearly.

–Marcela Muniz, SUSE doctoral student