25 November 2006

10 close encounters

H was my favourite professor. he was also the person who suggested that not only were tabloids worth studying but they might be a viable thesis option. this is the man who taught me how to write the way i write. croftie and i adored him. we were his groupies.

H is also the only person more awkward than us. during social hours, we would approach him to try to make conversation and he would blanch. despite the fact that he'd thrown back a couple beers, he stood rigidly in a corner, visibly oppressed by his lack of a doctoral degree. the effort to speak to him was exhausting. after a suitable interval, croftie and i would back away, shellshocked in the face of such social ineptitude.

i have conflicting emotions about H. during the spring of 2004, i wrote him no less than three fan letters- thanking him for the enormous influence he'd had upon my writing. and yet, i never really wanted to see him again because the memory of his taxing conversational inadequacy was so vibrant. i thought i'd just dedicate a book to him somewhere along the way and that would suffice.

so i was thoroughly unprepared to wind up sitting directly in front of H on the red line today. i didn't know what to do or what to say, so i did and said nothing. the bombshell and i rambled on about how old we feel as H and his friend rambled on about films. i was painfully aware of H's presence. he was staring, trying to place me. with a toss of the raven hair, i could have swiveled around and gushed, H, croftie and i loooooooooooooove you. but i did nothing. for seven stops i did nothing. even as i felt his eyes following me to the door, i did and said nothing.

it's times like these that i wish i had the foresight to have written letters to all the people i don't particularly want to see but might run into, in which case i wouldn't be able to summon the nerve to speak to them. if i'd had a fan letter for H, i could have swiveled around, smiled silently, dropped it into his lap and possibly made his day. as it is, he's probably wandering around boys' town vexed because he can't place that black haired, colourfully dressed girl with the peachy gum.

10 comments:

Unknown said...

when my students start to write these letters, then everything will be happiness in jeremy's academic world. until then, i'd settle for them hitting on me blatantly.

nick said...

it is so very funny how we're left with such lofty impressions of educators that make us (not in every, but so many ways) the people we become. the way we think, the way we communicate. my skepticism and questioning was only bolstered by the crew of the W&L School of Journalism. it also helped keep my sarcastic tongue, too.

i think i was lucky though... the faculty of my school really cut loose at cocktail hour. but then again, the General Lee was generous with his drink, too. it's tradition!

oline said...

prof j, just teach a class in your halloween costume. that would probably kickstart the blatant hitting upon by both the girls and the boys, and of course, the fan letters would soon follow.

LG, just so's you know- i cannot hear the name general lee without hearing stephen lang's george pickett's immortal gettysburg line, spat out in a tone of virginian defiance and digust and with a rogue peter brady vocal crack in the middle of the fourth word: general lee, i have no division!

Meggie said...

My faculty just drank a lot... At social hour, out of social hour. Hell, a fifth of whiskey fell out of Dr. K's bag during one class... My department was a bunch of hippies though.

Caro, check your inbox at MySpace for the latest update. Nickie, so sorry 'cause I know you love to hear all the details but this one is private!

oline said...

really my blog should be subtitled madcap adventures in self-aware, mismatched, sarcastic, bird-hating bombshellism and select scenes from meggie's loooooooooove department.

Meggie said...

Ok, I literally just about fell out of my chair laughing. In fact, one could say I was "cracking my ass off".

nick said...

that sounds painful.

Meggie said...

Nickie, private joke between Caro and I... It's kinda hard to explain. Let's just say my trip to Chicago resulted in mass doses of silliness.

Caro, I found a chick lit book about another fat girl complaining about not finding a man. Made me think of you and our lunch at Atlanta Bread Company...

oline said...

i don't want to hear about fat chicks who can't get a man. i'm skinny and i can't find one.
(meggie, 21.01.06)

Meggie said...

Oh wow... You even have the date. 'Cause if I remember correctly, you wrote it on a napkin...