The only thing worth saving

It wasn’t the first time I was at University that I met Betsy, it was the first time that I went BACK to school.

Looking back over my lifetimeago, I’ve returned to school several times. Be it my incessant need to stuff information into my brain, to explore the mysteries of old and new things or to learn new skills, I’ve gone back to school at during at least three major periods in my life. Each time was for good reason, and each experience gave me the tools necessary to adapt to our ever-changing world.

Along the way, among the most meaningful memories and relationships that I developed while at WSU was the one I found with Betsy.

Thirty minutes into one of the longest, driest classes known to humans (you know, you’ve had those occasions – either at a seminar, a meeting or in this case, a lecture – where you are so mind numbingly bored that you would swear to two things: time ceased to move forward, and you could swear that you were a test subject for a new form of punishment.)

Back to the mummifying lecture, as my eyes and interest began to wander, all of a sudden an arm was raised as though to ask a question. Only there was something odd about it. The arm was straight up in the air, but the hand fell limply at the end.

How odd. I wasn’t the only one to notice – soon soft chatter rolled through the room, and eventually the instructor noticed that something was amiss. Turning fully to face the class, he stared at this small, impish woman and asked what question she had.

Her reply in a singsong fashion reminding me of TinkerBell. “I don’t have a question.”

“Then why is your hand in the air?”

“It isn’t.”

“Clearly it is. Either put your arm down, or ask your question.”

“I don’t have a question.”

“Then why is your arm up?”

“Because the shit’s so deep in here, the only thing worth saving is the watch.”

Well reputed as an uptight no-nonsense humorless ass, upon hearing this little woman’s statement, gasps were the only break in the silence, and all eyes in the peanut gallery stared forward widened with disbelief, and in anticipation of the instructors reaction.

A stunned expression crossed his face, and the stern demeanor crumbled into deep rolls of thunderous laughter.

We were in a very strange place. Whether it was respect or fear, people walked a little stiffer, spoke more timidly, and scurried out of his way for fear of garnering too much attention, no one had every heard of nor witnessed any sort of soft side to this curmudgeon. Yet, here before us, was the person, who could now barely stand he was laughing so hard.

A spitfire in her own right, she was and continues to be a force to contend with.


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