Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Milan Kovacovic

Back in the day, when I was virtually carefree, I was prone to squandering my opportunities. Milan Kovacovic was one of the few individuals who knew me enough or had the right approach for someone living like I was. He looked me in the eye and told me I had to "try harder". As I recall it went over my head at the time. But here I am almost thirty years later and while I remember beaucoup de francais, or however it should be written, what I remember more is him saying that to me.

He was right. I wish I had a "do over", as my kids say. All these wise older folks may be right when they say that "youth is wasted on the young...". No doubt he has no memory of me. I was a "nothing" student by my own admission, intent on enjoying freedom and girls and living on my own. I should have taken a year off and learned the hard way about the importance of education. I did do that a few years later and it did teach me and I did actually come back to UMD and achieved the best grades of my time at UMD, but then I left again never to return. So.....Professor Kovacovic, I hope you have a Google alert set for your name. Thank you for those well intended words somewhere between fall of 84 and spring of 88. I still remember them. You were right. The more you put in, the more you get out.

He wrote his memoirs. While I am not prone to reading this type of work, I do look at this and read what there was in this article and marvel at the lives others have lived in the places and times they were in. Here I am in this plain old culture of the U.S. at its peak. Safe, stable, ongoing times of plenty, no war in my lifetime that affected me (although I did dutifully go to the USPS and register like I was supposed to as an 18 year old). What he remembers from his youth in WWII-era Europe is far different from mine.


  1. Way to go for getting into the arena. Ah, yes, we just don't get it when we are young, as much as we do when we are older. I enjoyed your story.


  2. I recently discovered the existence of MK despite the fact that he is a relative of mine. What you wrote about him makes me happy. Merci pour ce billet.