The title sounds so scandalous – but it isn’t! More of a pleasant copy room encounter.
In any case, today at work I walked into the copy room, obviously to make copies, and found it already in use by a tall somewhat young African American man. He, perhaps late 40’s or 50’s, immediately greeted me with a nice smile, saying that he was only making eleven copies and that it would be quick. I wasn’t in any rush.
Waiting for his papers to finish, he remarked on the efficiency of the particular copy machine in use. I was just waiting by the door – semi awkwardly- and he walked over to his mailbox, took one little booklet out and asked me, “Would you like my mail?” What am I supposed to say to that? I just smiled and nodded “No”. He then claimed that if he was in the mood that he would offer his mail to anyone. Funny man.
We went through the particulars. He asked me if I was an undergraduate or graduate student, also asking me what year I was. When I said I was a junior he only had one question for me: “Why aren’t you enrolled in my course?”
In no way did I think he was a stuck up professor at all. Something about his nonchalantness gave me the impression that he simply knew that he was “good” and didn’t have to explicitly say it. The fact that his course “fills up quickly” spoke for itself.
Immediately I corrected his assumption that I was a journalism major and told him that I was an English Education major and he answers, “Well, you can probably still take my course – it’s a good course.” He teaches a course about first-person writing and I was interested but didn’t say anything… I didn’t want to give him false hope, as if I’m that important.
Final words before packing up his things and leaving:
“It would be nice to see a fresh face, especially one going into education. You’re going to be teaching our young minds after all”
When he left I checked his mailbox label again just to make sure I remembered this encounter and this man. A man that makes teaching seem worth it.