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Prof. Etheridge Holds Class at UCLA

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Our college guest speakers were never this cool. (Except maybe for the group of Hare Krishnas in sociology sophomore year, but that's another post.)

Rock star and cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge surprised about 300 UCLA cancer biology students today for a guest lecture as part of filming for MTV's college network, mtvU's "Stand In" series. She talked about her personal struggle and her music -- and that bald-headed Grammy appearancewhere she left young blues singer Joss Stone in the dust.

From the AP wire story:

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On Wednesday, mostly female students queried Etheridge, and her frank responses drew laughter — and tears. "Were you afraid to die?" asked one student.

"I don't fear death. I have a lot more to do," Etheridge answered.

Of what it was like to go through chemo and surgery, Etheridge pointed to her scars and said even her ears hurt during treatment.

"I couldn't turn music on, which broke my heart," she said.

Student Kasey Fries, 21, walked away from the experience inspired by Etheridge, who she said "had such a positive attitude."

Like her music or not, you have to admire Etheridge's courage, guts and zest for life. Lessons those lucky Westwood co-eds should keep for the rest of their lives.Remember that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.