A FAREWELL TO WOBA

On Sunday, my good friend Patrick Oabel handed in his keys and ended his four-year long stay at St. John’s College. Four years is a long time to live at any university residence but Patrick made the most of his time there. He completed a Master’s degree and started his first two years of his Ph.D at SJC. His time is now up and he’ll be moving in with his brother in East Van. In September, he’ll write his comprehensive exams and then depart soon after for the jungles of the Philipines for field research. For most of us, we will see him only a handful of times before he turns into Indiana Jones again.

Along Chris Conklin, I had the pleasure of dining with Woba at One More Sushi before his last night at the College. I think he was a bit sad at the prospect of moving out. It’s my opinion that the most cherished residents of SJC are those who make the College better because they live there. You don’t have to necessarily volunteer for everything or give a concert every week, but just being a generous, thoughtful, and kind person makes you a standup type of resident. Woba certainly was that type of guy.

As evidenced by the near endless stream of well-wishers that came by his room after dinner, his departure will be certainly felt by many, many SJC residents. Some stayed for a few minutes, while others lingered for much longer. A few even said nothing, content to just watch him clean his room. I’ve heard people say that Woba, in their humble opinions, was the nicest guy they’ve met at SJC.

I left Woba around 10pm to let him clean in peace. I’m always amazed at how different people’s last nights are at SJC. A lot of people viewed it simply as a convenient place to sleep, eat, and take a dump, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t bat an eye when they left. While some found it really hard to leave (myself included). I know my last night at SJC sucked.

Woba and I agreed I’d meet him at SJC at 11:30am the next morning, when he’d hand in his keys and I’d say goodbye. Like an idiot, I played video games until 4:30am. I woke up all bleary-eyed at 11am. I managed to stumble out of my apartment about 11:20am. When I opened my door, Woba was sitting outside at one of the tables in the courtyard.

We made the ten minute walk over to SJC where he made a last check of his room, stepped out, and then locked his room for the last time. He slipped his keys into the office mailbox and we walked outside. For the first time, we were now both ex-SJC residents.

We had lunch at the SUB and then walked over to the bus loop. We waited for the 99 to arrive and he got on for the long trip out to East Van.

I feel really lucky to have met Woba. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more with him: ogling women, talking about Star Wars, checking out mysterious cars in the parking lot, making him talk in a Philipino accent, or eating fast food.

Well, before this post gets any more gay, I’ll end it here. Woba, thanks for being my friend.

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