December 10, 2004
I signed in, slapped on my name tag, and then I heard a familiar voice. I whirled around, and my professor and I were all smiles and hugs and "I-can't-believe-how-long-it's-been!" I was then introduced to one of the program administrators, and then began what was an unintentional running joke - to my great chagrin.
"Dr. So-and-So, this is Lady Crumpet. She wrote this brilliant sonnet about her crush on Dr. What-his-name...." To which I tried to demur - but my professor has always been most generous and praiseworthy to her students, almost to the point of myth-making.
Later, I ran into one of my professor's former grad assistants. She introduced me to her husband. "Oh, this is Lady Crumpet, brilliant student, just brilliant. Oh! You're the one who wrote that poem...."
For all that I make myself sound like a lush, I'm just a social drinker. A glass or two of something and that's it. Still, I felt more secure, armed with a glass of red wine while I navigated these friendly channels. Between my genuine excitement and nervous energy I managed to wend my way and found one of my classmates. We filled each other in on our lives. I got to see pictures of people's children. We talked freely and easily, as though the interim of a decade had never been. To my great delight I learned that one of my friends, whom I'd always regarded as the older sister I never had, also has a passion for Jane Austen and for Colin Firth and for seeing movies. A girls' night is definitely in order!
Then all too soon, it was time to leave. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and talked about digging up our old photos for the program's archives. My professor's parting words for me: "We'll get you back into literature yet!" I don't know, though, seeing as I've squandered my brain here on the blog. Besides, I don't see how I can ever surpass the brilliance of that poem.