Walking briskly and robustly, every single step, every single movement infused with purpose, seeming to own every particle composing the pavement and hallways treaded on the illustrious campus of Albany State University, San, as I affectionately call her, made her presence known—not vociferously—but by permitting her natural fierceness to shine. To be frank, as I would watch her walk—with that big ole booty—I would say to myself, “That girl is mean; she is not to be messed with; she walks like she owns the ground.” Guess what? I loved everything I saw, though.
Much to my surprise, she walked into the same classroom I was sitting. Our first course together, “Literary Forms,” taught by Ms. Laverne Luster, who retired after over twenty-five years of teaching at Albany State University, was the first English major course we shared. While students were waiting on Ms. Luster to arrive, they were engaged in typical small talk. Some students familiar with my radical history at the institution, a history that aroused the praise of many and caused others to see me as “crazy,” “weird,” and/or “dangerous,” were joking with me about some things I did and said in the past.
As San was listening, she started chuckling at what she was hearing. This was the first time I saw her smile; it was a beautiful, endearing, and disarming smile. She joined the conversation, and this launched a long friendship—like none other.
This friendship with San, now Dr. Santresa Lolita Glass (yes, the whole government name, shawty!), has resulted in her stalking me, mesmerized by my indubitable handsomeness. Lmbo! Although I cannot blame her, she must understand I have eternally placed her in the “friend’s zone.”
Life’s barriers and toxic missiles have been unsuccessful in taking you out. One thing I know you know for sure, to borrow from Auntie Oprah Winfrey, is you can endure and conquer anything that comes your way. That’s your superpower, and it has been a blessing to see you exercise it since the time we met at the renowned and unsinkable Albany State University to the present moment.
Keep forging ahead! Keep pounding pavement and hallways! Keep being great!
Happy 41st Birthday, Dr. Santresa Lolita Glass!
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison