Friday, April 29, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night...

This week I started spring term, and my last few classes of undergrad work.
I have been a little nervous because one of the classes I have to take is only offered on Tuesdays until 5:30 and I have staff meeting every Tuesday at 5.
Walking to the class I told myself that most English professors are really chill and it should be no big deal. The sun was out, I had eight more weeks of class, campus was emptier than normal, and I was feeling all 500-days-of-summer.

I ran into a few friends along the way and told them the professor and the class I was heading to.
I started to worry when this was the reaction I got:

"CRITICAL THEORY....? WITH PROFESSOR....???" they said.
They told me he was mean. They told me he hated everyone, that he was the scariest professor I would ever have. They told me he especially hated redheads they thought. They told me I had spilled something on my shirt. (Not relevant, but also true.)
"WHYYYYYYY?????" I yelled.
"You know why!" someone said back.

And I did.
I knew why.
I knew it was because I had all nice, fun, and understanding Professors for four years and I just couldn't graduate college without having one make me question my existence.
I knew it was because I had offended the Gods of Summer by signing up to go to school during these sacred sunshine months.
I knew it was because my life is so full of irony that the only time I ever had to leave a class early was the one time I was petrified to ask.
I knew!
But I was hoping they were wrong.
I slowly walked the long green mile down to the back corner of the dark basement where my class was held. I could feel the cell phone service and internet access dwindling with every step.
I took the closest seat to the door, planned my escape route, watched the clock.
When the clock struck three the door slowly opened and a man walked in wearing a long dark coat.
He set his books on the table with his back to us, took off his coat and turned around....

This picture might seem like an exaggeration (almost everything I say is an exaggeration, deal with it), but it's closer to the truth than you think.
Because when he turned around we quickly discovered that the man literally had a HOOK FOR A HAND!
I about passed out.
He spent the next two hours lecturing us on classroom etiquette and the odds that we will understand what he is teaching us (3 in 1,000 apparently.)
He informed us that anything below a "C" was unacceptable and that quite a few of us would be deemed unacceptable.
And he did all this with a dry-erase marker tucked between the prongs of his hook.
Finally, he passed out his syllabus, and on the front page, in bold, it read,
"you will not come late or leave early unless there is an emergency."
I wondered if my heart giving out, out of fear of his hook-hand constituted an "emergency."
Eventually the time came that I had to leave for work.
I had been sweating so much the past few hours that there was no way I was getting out of there without him sensing the change in humidity when I left the room.
I held my breath, counted to three, and bolted.
I thought I could hear him behind me all the way up the stairs.
I breathed a sigh of relief out in the fresh air again until I realized something.
I was going to have to go back on Thursday. 

Thursday came and all day I felt like someone was sneaking up on me:

I was paranoid. I walked into class and this time the Professor was already in there.
I slowly approached him, keeping my hand at the level of my face (more a phantom of the opera thing but I was taking all precautions).
He asked me if I was the one who had left early last time and I launched into a long explaination of why, talking a mile a minute.
When I finished he smiled, rubbing his hook hand and said...
"Of course. I will e-mail you notes on what you missed each week."

And that is how I learned for the second time in my life not to judge people based on how they look or what people say about them.
The first time was in sixth grade when I told a kid he was weird for parting his hair and then I had a crush on him all through middle school.

Moral of the story:
I should have known. Hook is one of my favorite movies.


1 comment:

  1. i've heard about this fellow! THE BEST PART IS HOW HE GOT THE HOOK. has he told you this story yet??

    ps love the new spring-y look.