Monthly Archives: July 2011

Anecdotes and Misguided Motives


Three weeks before finals, I sat in the very back row of my class wondering if I should’ve said something to the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row. She was pretty, athletic,  kind, and a smart girl to top it off (or I guess as kind and as smart as you can gather from class participation). Unfortunately it wasn’t as easy as moving to the front of the class to start conversation. I sat in the back row the first day, and the Prof made sure we had the same seats each time (I tried moving to one of the seats next to the girl sitting two spots from the door in the front row; it didn’t work). Time was winding down, so I had to make a move.

What move though? It was a little late to start small talk walking away from class. That works at the beginning of the semester when you have a few weeks to move from “that professor is so boring” to “you goin to that basketball game tonight?” I had to overcome this conundrum and come up with a plan, I had to find the in-between phase of “boring professors and basketball games!”

I organized a Finals Study group that would meet a few times to cram before the test, with, you guessed it, the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row.  However, a one on one study group would probably not fly right away, so I needed a strategy. I wanted to socialize but also needed to study a bit too. Luckily (and unluckily a the same time) the professor taught by use of the Socratic Method, which made hand picking a study group to accompany  the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row a much easier task. I only had two real qualifications. Group members would have to (a) actually study and (b) not provide competition.  So this turned into a group of girls and one other engaged guy. Everything was set up perfectly, we’d study and take a few breaks so I could steal a couple of conversations with the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row.

The study group actually went better than I had planned. The few times we met we were actually able to study, and I began a little friendship with the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row. Everything was going as planned and I was fairly confident in my chances so it was time for a bold move.

On Sunday I saw her standing with a small group of friends in the Student Union. I casually walked up and commented a little bit about our impending test and then asked her if she would join me for an off-campus dinner (a big deal for a college like mine). It was at that moment that I noticed the guy standing behind her, turn around and then put an arm around her. He then informed me that he was taking the girl who sat two spots from the door in the front row to dinner. Unsure as to the best way to make the situation less awkward, I introduced myself, shook his hand, and walked away.

Yes, ultimately my purest motives and smoothest abilities were not on display for this series of events. Thankfully, it is an easy anecdote to laugh at in hindsight (although I only told this to one of my roommates 5 months after it happened… I guess I was more embarrassed than I remember). So, what is the moral of the story?

Talk about the boring professor on week one… the story ends a little better.