She Saw Me Coming

  • She saw and heard me coming but I didn’t see her. I was late for course registration in my second year at Dalhousie University. As a result, I had to stand in long line-ups and try to get into courses to make up a credible year towards my degree. It was getting to be thin pickings and I was beginning to feel a little desperate. Professors began to put up Full signs and pack up and leave their sign up desks in the large auditorium
  • . The indignity of this crap shoot was not what I expected from the halls of higher learning. I was feeling a little guilty about my tardiness. I had to keep jumping into other queues getting farther from my long term goals.
  • I made it to the desk of one professor who said, “ Sorry , no more spaces “ Hearing his flat tone and little compassion, I grew steely. He then said, “ there is space left in the Women’s Study Course. “ I responded, “ I need substance, not fluff and fill. “ I admit I said it in my whining voice for extra effect. Oh I was young and sassy.
  • I looked around for the Women’s Study course line-up only to be met with a scowling face of this self same professor. Her desk was right beside me when I spoke that auspicious judgement of her specialty. No doubt it was her pride and joy which I had just insulted. I had to go to the end of the line that would lead me again to one who sat on high. I made it into her course and she gave me a sly smile as I signed up hoping she could forgive me.
  • Professor J wore a silk scarf tied under her chin like the Queen of England. Later I had the privilege to hear her fondly refer to this head dress as a babushka. She was tall with a slow walk, cat like, and pedantic.
  • She seemed to enjoy shooting me down frequently in the classroom. I realized that she would not forgive me or even give me a chance to make up. I realized that I did not agree with much that she offered as well. I was going to have to drop her before she dropped me.
  • I was young with long dyed auburn hair and my manner of dress was colorful and maybe a little seductive. To her eyes, I think she saw me as a woman of loose morals. I began to prod her verbally with smart remarks designed to get under her skin. I was delighted that she appeared to have a very thin veneer and would take my bait. She could be made to bristle at the slightest provocation or academic contradictions. I enjoyed the game but had to split. I would now have to go to summer school to make up for the lost credit.
  • That summer , I was standing outside a Statistics course listening to a classmate tell me that she had really had it with university. She was soon to enroll herself in a Welder’s course. I have often wondered how she did and if she may have become a welder of great artworks. As we were standing there, Professor J came sliding down the hallway with her catty walk and gave me a splendid catty smile. As for me , well I got an “ A “ in Statistics.
  • August 24, 2015

( photo by hannah miller )


Originally published at cowbird.com.

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