Still no word on exactly when incoming Jonathan Edwards College Master Richard Lalli, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in December, will be ready to assume his duties as master. But Lalli wrote to members of the JE community Wednesday morning, thanking students for their continued support and thanking interim Master Penelope Laurans for maintaining the “very high standards” of former master Gary Haller.

“Following in their footsteps will be a daunting task for which I need to be well-prepared,” Lalli wrote. “To this end, I attend an average of four daily sessions of physical therapy (for walking and overall strength), occupational therapy (for arm and hand mobility) and speech therapy; large amounts of homework are required in order to relearn skills that once came so easily to me, like writing and singing.”

Read the full e-mail after the jump.

April 8, 2009

Dear Friends,

I wish to send greetings and thanks to everyone at J.E. for your many expressions of support and concern, especially to the student who wrote, “I miss you, Master Lalli, and I don’t even know you!” This appeared on one of the two large posters that students signed and that kept me good company in Yale New Haven Hospital.  Believe me; I’ve missed you, too, during the past months.  This is not what I was expecting or preparing for. Our home is still stuffed with packed boxes of books and other belongings, ready to be moved.

The thought of coming to J.E. fills me and Dr. Rigsby with warmth and hope. I am so grateful to Dean Farley and to Penelope Laurans, a good friend, who has stepped in as Interim Master with no advance notice and has maintained the very high standards and bountiful schedule of former Master Gary Haller. Following in their footsteps will be a daunting task for which I need to be well-prepared. To this end, I attend an average of four daily sessions of physical therapy (for walking and overall strength), occupational therapy (for arm and hand mobility) and speech therapy; large amounts of homework are required in order to relearn skills that once came so easily to me, like writing and singing. I am encouraged because the rate of my recovery has been good, but must continue working diligently for months.

I want to be in the best possible shape to take up my work at J.E. with the kind of energy and dedication that it deserves.  Because the speed of recovery is hard to predict, we feel it would be best to wait a little longer to decide just when to jump back in. I expect that by early summer we will have a clearer idea of the timing. We hope to see you often in the meanwhile, taking advantage of this extra time so that we might all get to know each other better.

Dr. Rigsby and I will never forget the many kindnesses extended to us by our new J.E. family, and we -along with Max and Iris- look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future.

Sincerely,

Richard Lalli