In the spring of 1997 when I began a Master’s Program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, one of my cohorts was Jayne Kiner. At the time, she lived with her husband, Gary, in Fort Smith, Arkansas; had rented an apartment in Fayetteville; and was traveling home on the weekends. Since we began in the same graduate program under Dr. Art Brown, we had many of the same classes together and spent quite a bit of time studying together for tests and working together on class projects. We hit it off as friends from the very beginning. As Jayne moved closer to home in North Dakota a few years after completing her masters, I mainly kept in touch with her through annual Christmas cards, and a rare email.
While biology was one of Jayne’s many interests, I remember her being one of the most well-read individuals I ever met, along with having an incredible vocabulary. Once on a 1999 road trip to a North America Benthological Society meeting in Wisconsin, the entire van-full of graduate students took turns reading aloud Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (our version of “books on tape”). Jayne was an enthusiastic reader and could explain ANY unknown terms – a walking dictionary/thesaurus. We were all very impressed!
*The source of the shield story is a Roman writer named Plutarch. He wrote, “Another woman handed her son his shield, and exhorted him: ‘Son, either with this or on this.” The quote is found in Plutarch’s Moralia, a collection of his writings, in a section called Sayings of Spartan Women. Source: http://www.straightdope.com by Una Persson, staff of The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board