After the professor collected final papers, passed out course evaluation sheets and left the room just 15 minutes into the last class period, my classmates began to gather their things and shuffle out the door without a look back. Most of my classmates, that is. One short, bookish boy held back, mustering up the courage to ask something of a girl who was sliding her evaluation into the envelope. Though I didn’t hear how he worded his entreaty, the girl’s response – “Um, no thanks. I’m flattered, though” – implied romantic rejection.

End of semester ‘now or nevers’

Soon after turning in my own evaluation, I found a vacant computer outside the Fishbowl and within minutes overheard the “letting down nicely” of another luckless suitor.

“So,” a boy said to a girl as they left the lecture hall. “I was wondering if you wanted to get dinner this week?” “Um, as friends?” his darling replied. “Well, as whatever you’d like .” The girl mumbled something about a probably make-believe boyfriend, then chirped, “But I like talking to you,” before running off. These might be common occurences near the end of the semester. After all, before final exams or Christmas music, ’tis the season for realizing that your lab partner was only really interested in your answers to the homework.


A chase with a score

Although it was a clear indication that our little town is about to go into hibernation, last week’s snowfall, with quarter-sized snowflakes, was lovely. As I was walking to work, though, my reverie was interrupted by the sight of a dog in the middle of the intersection at State and William. Ownerless and terrified, it nonetheless refused to come to me when I beckoned. A girl (not the owner) was running toward the dog, and without thinking I loped along next to her as the pooch scampered toward the Modern Languages Building.

The chase quickly lost its spontaneous fun when the poor thing was nearly run over by a bus before my eyes. Panic set in, which was heightened by the music in my headphones – Alicia Keys’s hit “No One.”

Seriously, I was living in a bad movie. Her enormous harmonies on the chorus seemed to urge me forward. Into the Diag I followed that dog, yelling at people – probably much too loudly because of my headphones – to grab him (or was it a her?).

Despite the song’s epically melancholy exigency, I lost hope as the dog ran into the middle of a bunch of idling kids near the Haven side of Angell Hall. I yelled, “The dog! The dog! Please hold onto the dog! Please!”

They gave me looks of utter incomprehension. The dog ran on. I went to work with Keys’s “Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohs” in my soul.


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