For 12 weeks, I was separated from Landry by a four-foot partition made out of metal and fiber-board.
Yet, we knew each other quite well through the occasional visit to the other side of the cubicle farm in our office.
Landry was your typical high achiever who had earned a master’s degree and two doctorates in her brief career.
Her 12-week stop in our shop was aimed at learning about science and how it relates to public and social policy.
She parlayed all of that knowledge into a job balancing the two, then was seemingly all set to move into the private sector until she was found dead before New Year’s Day.
Landry was from a traditional ethnic family, one which looked down upon women’s education. She struggled to break away from traditional family norms of class and gender. Even when she was hired to be part of the organization’s top-level of management, she went out of her way to make her office mates feel welcome.
Somewhere in one of my souvenir binders, I have a picture of the two of us, posing with a plush doll she found that was an Olympic mascot.
It’s against the backdrop of these memories that I’m trying to process the news of Landry’s passing this morning.
And nothing’s making sense.