The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

For the (Mean) Professor who told me to be Realistic

A dear friend told me this was one of his favorites. I re-read it and felt a lift in my spirits as well. I hope it will do the same for you.

Danube, Vienna, Wien

The Nice Thing About Strangers

On a brilliant November day, my students talked me into teaching outside. So we were at an outdoor amphitheater on the Danube when I broke into the story of the professor on my Christmas card list. In college, I spent summers in a small town in Colorado working as a waitress at a sportsbar and restaurant. Waiting tables is good penance and a particular sort of training to endure life’s haters.

A couple came in one day and we chitchatted while the wife mulled the beer list. The man asked what I was studying, what I wanted to do. He caught me in a hopeful spirit. I’d just taken a literature course that renewed my faith in reading, in something I’d loved since childhood. I said I might like to be an English professor one day. His wife gazed away and the man scoffed. He was himself an English professor…

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2013 by in Travel.

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