Friday, October 19, 2007


So, yesterday, I attended a diversity leadership forum on campus. It was a good experience, and I'm glad I went, but I gotta admit it was a bit basic, sort of as if someone took a copy of Diversity for Dummies, wrote a summary, and then gave a power-point presentation of the condensed version of that summary's key points.

But it is the thought that counts, and the mere fact that diversity forums are offered here makes them worth attending.

But it wasn't the attending of the forum that makes this an interesting story (interesting to me, at least). No, it was one of the attendees that made the forum interesting (again, interesting to me, at least).

She was cute, nervous, and skeptical, intent to prove she belonged there yet not quite smooth enough to avoid looking bored and distracted. Sounds perfect, right?

So, during the five hours or so it lasted, I did my best to seem cool and casual, a few funny moments here and there but nothing too much, nothing to make it seem obvious.

Afterwards, we left the conference room, both heading in the same direction. We traded our most interesting facts, the kind you think the other person might find intriguing and laudable enough to ask a follow up question, like how she served in the peace corps and how I just moved up here from Texas and how she really likes working with non-profits and how I really appreciate the mission of our institution and she's really enjoying her graduate program and I'm really excited about being through with mine and blah and blah and blah.

About the time we discovered that we both had dogs and that our canine attachments were equally intense, we reached that point, that point where it is shit or get off the pot time, where you are in danger of the conversation ending, whether because of bad luck, boredom, or cowardice. So, as I asked her whether the Lakewood or Tremont dog parks were better, in her opinion, she said she had to go straight at the intersection, in order to catch the bus, and I said I had to go right, toward the student center, to get shit from my office.

After that was cleared up, she strenuously advocated the Lakewood park. excitedly telling me I should really take my dog there. I said, happily, even confidently, something along the lines of, "Cool. I think I will on Sunday. What are you doing on Sunday? You and your dog interested in joining me and mine?"

Deer in headlights.

Just woke up from a nightmare.

Oh shit, dear god, what do I do now.

These are just a few impressions I took from the look on her face.

When she was finally able to speak, it went a little like this, "Um, I have like 5000 papers to write this weekend, um, and, um, you know..."

Yeah, I know.

Last ditch effort: "I remember how it can be. How about a cup of coffee some time."

Her: "Um, sure. I work in the such and such office. Stop by there some time."


Then we shook hands.

Yeah, I know.

At least my voice never cracked.

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