Monday, June 23, 2003

I usually pride myself for being quick on my toes and able to react to things quickly, but I miserably failed in this aspect the other day. Let me start the story by telling you about one of my professors from freshman year that I became friends with. It was the first quarter of my college career at UC Davis. My very first engineering class was a 300 person programming class. The professor that taught it was very intimidating older gentleman with a heavy european accent, white beard and hair. The class was meant to 'weed' people out of the major to see who would survive to move on to the next level. After surviving the entire quarter after many nights staying awake learning how to program, (I didn't even know what programming was coming in to college) I happened to be walking through the Engineering building and passed by my professor's office. I peaked my head in to say hello and he smiled and invited me into his office. We sat there and talked for the longest time and he ended up being such a nice man. We talked about random things about life to school and our weekends. It was kind of weird because I had been so scared of this man only a quarter before. When I left he told me to stop by once in awhile and talk with him, so I did. One time while we were chit-chatting he mentioned how he was self-conscious about his accent and I told him that I could understand him fine. I asked him where he was from and he said, "Austria." I was like, "Oh! I just went to Austria" He said, "Oh yeah? What part?"...and then I said, "Munich" We both paused, and he looked at me and said, "Munich is in Germany." I almost died. I tried so hard to think of some excuse to why I said Munich when I knew that it was in Germany. Nothing. So after that visit, I still came back to visit him another time and during a small silence, I got a little nervous and said, "Are you married?" I have no idea where that question came from. I myself was in shock hearing myself ask him. He was also very shocked apparently and said, "No." I was still trying to figure out why the heck I asked him that question and said, "Oh that's nice." He looked at me once again, a little shocked and said, "It is???" about sticking your foot in your mouth. So I was so embarrassed and told him about how my uncle was also a professor and that he also wasn't married. I said that it was nice because he's so busy. I know that doesn't make any sense, but for some reason I wasn't thinking straight. Amazingly enough, this man still liked to talk to me and didn't think I was a crazy or dumb little girl and we continued to talk. Summer was approaching, and I didn't go to visit him again for several months. In the fall when I went to go see him, his office was vacant and it had said that he had retired. I could never get ahold of him again because he probably went back to Austria.

For my graduation dinner we went to a restaurant called Soga's in downtown Davis. We had a nice long table for our party of 14 right by the front windows of the restaurant. I was sitting in the middle, and randomly looked out the window in the middle of the dinner and spotted a man walking down the street outside and caught his eye. It was him! It was the long lost professor. He also caught my eye at the same time and we both kind of took a second glance and I waved. I kind of yelped and said something to the people I was with and all 14 heads turned to look out the window. He kept walking, but kept looking back. And then he turned around and walked back to the window, smiled and waved. My whole family and all of my friends were telling me to get up and go outside, but all I could do was sit there. I don't know why I didn't react and jump up and run outside. I just sat there. So then after waving for a little bit, he kept walking down the street and when I finally stood up, he was gone.

Why was I so slow to react? I had been looking for him for so long and here he was literally right outside the door and I didn't get up. =(

No comments: