Another Lesson in Storytelling

At the university, sophomore year, I signed up for a 300 level labor relations class.  I wanted to be interested in that type of thing. The professor was a tough old man who, the slowest of us slowly realized, was a famous expert in his field. The reading list was long and extensive and included the professor's seminal book. He didn't assign specific readings, wanting us to read out of curiosity and thirst for knowledge rather than obligation. Unfortunately, I was curious about other things and thirsty for experiences not found in those books.

We were required to write a 30 page paper and make a presentation. Two days before I was scheduled to give mine, I was playing ultimate and got a hard flung frisbee smack across the bridge of the nose. So when I stood in front of the class, I explained that I didn't want everyone wondering how I got a broken nose and two black eyes instead of listening to my presentation. So I told what had happened. Professor Hill sat with an attentiveness he had never given me. But after I explained, his shoulders drooped and his scowl returned. "I was hoping for something a little juicier than that," he mumbled.

And then we all struggled to pay attention to my feeble presentation.

Herbert Hill 1924-2004

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