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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Zach Brokaw ’18 remembered

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It happens to me every few days. From the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of a slim young man with sandy hair and glasses. “Zach,” I think, “is it you?”

Of course, it never quite is— the young man turns and I realize that the jawline, the clothes, or the walk are wrong. None of the young men have caught me staring yet, and I’m glad of that. Perhaps they would not understand.

I was always glad to see Zach walk through the doors of the Carletonian office in his blue jeans and his tan jacket. Without fail, he came to the discussion groups that I held there, even when few were able to find the time. He was a good listener and a thoughtful speaker, and his presence reassured me that my work to promote campus discourse as an opinion editor had not been in vain.

I was always glad to see Zach around campus, too. We were friends beyond the Carletonian, and his good humor and bright spirit always brought laughter to my days. I hope to long remember his intent expression as he took notes in a challenging political philosophy class we took together. I want to hold onto my amazement at his genealogical knowledge, to emulate his dedication to the natural world, and to embody his down-to-earth friendliness to all.

I wish that I had the opportunity to know him longer—to hear more of his one-liners and to benefit from more of his knowledge. I wish that I had been able to play more board games with him and to enjoy more facets of his clever mind. But I am grateful for the time that I spent with him, grateful for the impact that he had on me and on the way that I see others.

I am glad to see Zach’s qualities in the people around me, whether they are strangers who resemble him in body, or his dear friends and family members who resemble him in spirit. When I look at them, at the people he touched most deeply, I can also ask, “Zach, is it you?” And I know, in a way, that it is.

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