Leila Milki's Letter

      Mr. Capron's unanticipated absence has sparked much surprise, curiosity, and nostalgia from our community. I am sure, by now, that his disappearance has been noted by each one of us. Those of us who have had him as a teacher, and those of us who had just begun to experience one of his classes; those of us who have come to know and grow close to him, and those of us who have come to rely on his trust, his patience, and his wisdom to touch the beam of light we had never known to exist; those of us who have witnessed his rich, effervescent spirit bouncing off the walls of the chapel and pouring into the minds and the bodies of the rejuvenated students, actors, and audience members; those of us who have felt and breathed his warm presence, who have melted in the compassion and the sincerity of his heartfelt hugs, who have regarded him as an inspiring mentor, an honorable colleague, a devoted friend, and those of us who have just heard the stories of his glorious, indelible legacy, have each faced a certain degree of hollowness. I know that the members of our community who have not had the privilege of experiencing the radiance of our Uncle Bear have still noticed the sudden evaporation of his warmth and goodness. If this is not the sign of the fineness of a human being, then what is?

      During my first year at Castilleja, I took Mr. Capron's drama and ATA class. Entering the school as a shy freshman with not the slightest touch of self-confidence, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly superior talents and insights of my classmates, and I was convinced that their abilities would serve as a burden to me, as opposed to a source of inspiration. Then, Mr. Capron came to the rescue. The enthusiasm in his guidance, the eloquence in his opinions, and the passion in his teaching brought out in me the zestful life that had forever been longing to soar out into the world and to touch other hearts. Mr. Capron believed in the gift I had to offer, just as he believed and continues to believe in the gift of each individual with whom he crosses paths. "It's funny," he wrote to me in my ATA journal at the end of my freshman year, "because when I met you at the start of the year, I had a vivid flash forward vision of you. Somehow I've always seen you as you are now starting to see yourself." Indeed, Mr. Capron teaches us to become aware of ourselves, to share ourselves, and to love ourselves.

      It is important to understand the tremendous impact Mr. Capron has made on our community through his shining and lasting presence. Students, alumnae, faculty, staff, and parents alike have gone as far as to consider their Uncle Bear as their definition of Castilleja. We must cherish the gift he has given us.

Leila Milki
Class of 2011

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