I was having a good time in Pittsburgh. I was seeing a city I’d never seen and enjoying a lot of it. Then, the heartbreaking news hit me as we were in a seminar at a TV station: Ms. (Dr.) Zinnia Blake had died from injuries in a car accident.My first feeling was disbelief. This couldn’t be the Dr. Blake who taught psychology, could it? No, it couldn’t be. She had such a good heart and a helping attitude. It just couldn’t be her . could it?
Alas, my worst suspicions were confirmed. While I wished no one died, I just couldn’t believe it was she. During the Spring 2005 semester, I interacted with Dr. Blake every MWF. I always called her a doctor because she was pursuing her doctorate, and I always rooted her on.
She broke psychology down like Mr. Taylor broke down algebra. I understood psychology in a way I had never tried to understand it. It was the first time I could honestly say I enjoyed psychology. I enjoyed it so much that I walked away with an “A” in the class.
Just last spring, I saw Dr. Blake in what used to be Mar-J’s. She was telling me how the elementary school was undergoing flooding problems and how she wanted me to cover it. Sadly, I could not get the story because people were not willing to talk. But Dr. Blake just gave me a smile, as is to say at least I tried.
That was the last time I saw her smile. It brings tears to my eyes to say that, because she had a heart-warming smile. She never seemed to put her problems on anyone else. If you had a question, she would stay and answer the question, sometimes being late to her classes at ULM.
Needless to say, the minute I logged onto Facebook, I saw statuses dedicated to her well-being and in tribute to her legacy. GSU will never be the same without Dr. Blake. As I type, I am remembering how she used to keep the class entertained with her jokes and how she always said that she was going to get her doctorate.
I took those days for granted. And I cherish them now that they are gone. But at least her spirit will live on.