hearty laugh goes back to school.


on my way to lunch, i recognized hearty laugh. she told me a few weeks ago that she'd be on campus, since she was getting her masters in teaching. she was just walking along, and i could've just walked past her, as she probably wouldn't have even recognized me, but i felt it was the decent thing to say something, so i did. "hey," i said. "hey!" she said back. i almost forgot her name, since i was so used to calling her hearty laugh.

she told me she was still getting acquainted with the campus, figuring out places to eat, where to park, and all that. i thought i'd be helpful and give her a mini-tour, even though i only had lunch on my mind. she giggled the whole way through, rightfully earning the nickname i had granted her, unbeknown to her. she was so positive and full of energy that i didn't really know what to make of her. the only time she spoke negatively was when she talked about her previous job. "i hope they go under," she said.

i went to qfc, and she followed me inside. "i'll just follow you for a little bit. i need to be back by 12:15," she said. i looked at my watch. it was 12:45. she corrected herself. "1:15!" we went inside qfc, and i bought a banana, an orange, and a package of eel sushi. "healthy," she said, and then she told me about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in her backpack. i told her that i, too, needed to start bringing my own lunches again.

i asked if she had grown up in seattle, since she seemed to be so unfamiliar with what i thought was a very popular seattle neighborhood. she said she grew up north, in shoreline. i didn't know what else to say about that. she told me about her new graduate program, that class starts on monday, that she has a lot in common with the people in her cohort, that there are 49 of them, that the uw's masters in teaching program is still in transition and that's why she's at seattle u. i thought about telling her about my brief stint as a teacher, but i didn't want to be a downer.

we walked back to campus together. i felt like i was a student again, mingling with other students. we talked about my boring desk job and her previous boring desk job. she said, "go back to school." i asked if her husband liked his job. she said that he did, but that he deserved a raise. she said she was going to the loyola building for a meeting, and i said i was gonna eat lunch at my desk. "i'm gonna cut through the quad," i said. she agreed, and she said that she would see me around.

down in the quad, there was a gaggle of girls sitting on a big slab of rock. they looked like a study group. there was a dog in the water, and a man tending to his dog. the sun was shining, shooting through the fountain. i felt like i was gonna fall over.

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