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Writing instructor, doctoral student dies of AIDS
STANFORD -- Arthur Woodworth Hall, a Stanford writing instructor and doctoral student in the School of Education, died Jan. 3 of AIDS at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Calif. He was 43.
Hall had been a student in Stanford's Curriculum and Teacher Education program. His dissertation was titled "The 3 a.m. Syndrome: A Study of Situational Writing Anxiety in College Undergraduates."
A resident of San Francisco, Hall received his master's degree at San Francisco State University in 1973 and taught composition, literature, remedial writing and other courses there for the next six years. He also taught composition and literature in the Marin Community College District.
He came to Stanford in 1979, teaching freshman English and freshman-level courses at the Learning Assistance Center. He also conducted staff development courses to help Stanford employees with their on-the-job writing. He was admitted to the Stanford doctoral program in 1981.
"He was such a teacher, such a teacher, even about how to live and how to die," said Catherine O'Connor, degree program coordinator for the School of Education. "He touched everyone in his classes in a very major way."
O'Connor recalled Hall's "courage and strength" in visiting the school's staff to say good-bye to each of them the weekend before his Dec. 6 hospital admission. She also recalled how, despite his illness, he had helped his mother relocate after her home was burned in October's Oakland fire.
Hall had lived with AIDS for a long time, and spoke of his illness and his sense of gratitude while living on "borrowed time" as a speaker at the memorial service for University Academic Secretary and former School of Education Dean Arthur Coladarci in January 1991.
The central passion of Hall's life was teaching.
"When I was a child and all the other kids in the neighborhood wanted to play cowboys and Indians, I always wanted to play school - taking the part of teacher myself whenever possible, of course," he wrote in his doctoral program admissions essay.
"At the risk of sounding dewy-eyed, I have never found anything else to do that I love or that rewarded me half as much. No matter how much I may crab in certain moods about the low pay, the lack of job security, the weekend hours, the never-ending stacks of papers, the annoyance of coming across the phrase 'in this fast-moving world of today' for the 189th time in the concluding sentence of a student essay, there's something about teaching that attracts me and brings me back with renewed enthusiasm every September, no matter how burned-out I may have felt in June."
Hall is survived by his mother, Margaret Hall, of Berkeley; his father, Etheron "Bud" Hall, of Georgetown, Calif.; and a brother, John Hall, of Seattle.
His funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, at the corner of 29th and Telegraph in Oakland. Visitation hours at the Moss Wood Chapel on Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, will be 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8.
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