Shadow (dariaphoebe) wrote,

The morning had provided an unwelcome surprise, and so I'd been flustered for a while. Still, the meeting I'd just finished had gone reasonably, and finding myself a few feet from the building that housed my department, I decided to pop my head in. While walking back inside I got a call I expected, but was not prepared to take. I said as much, telling the caller that in the couple minutes I'd not been in a meeting I hadn't handled what they were calling for. So, when I stepped up to the open office door to knock, I felt myself shaking nervously.

I heard her speaking to someone, surely a student. As they approached the door, she noticed me, and I asked if she had a moment. "No," she said, before telling the student something else. She paused, though, and looked me over. The look of recognition finally hit her face, and she excitedly greeted me as 'shadow' before giving me a hug.

Years earlier, I'd throttled back my degree work upon accepting a position with the university, resulting in a job where increasingly large parts of the academic computing environment would come into my purview. At that point, though, I had just finished a project intended to provide a web-based interactive transit guide for the city of Pittsburgh. It wasn't a programming class: Civil Engineering students had to finish a senior project. Just as she'd been my advisor right along -- including when I finally took the late steps to finish my degree -- she was advising this student about her options for a project which seemed to be in a similar vein.

But after that finished, I got a bare few minutes with her before she expected her next student. It was apparent she held me in high regard, a situation I didn't feel I'd earned. At the same time, she'd held an extremely important place on the journey that has been my life. And so we briefly gushed at each other before making plans for a much overdue lunch, one I'll be looking forward to right up until the moment we are doing it.
Tags: cmu, transition

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