One hour and fifty-three minutes ago, my teacher walked into the classroom and asked, "How is everybody today?"
"We're here," we said. This was the only appropriate response to a teacher who made us read eight novels (two of which, fortunately, are graphic novels), do group reports on all of them, and write three papers and a comic strip all before Spring Break. I stopped talking to my friend and picked up my crochet. Half the kids in class were on Facebook or doodling in their notebooks anyway; I might as well be productive. I finished one side of a sunflower-shaped hot pad and started working on another.
The professor went over the syllabus, which she did every class, and changed a couple of due dates. Typical. She went over the assignment which she said was due today but the syllabus said was due next Tuesday. I already submitted it. Turns out the syllabus was right. Oh well.
I was halfway through with my hot pad. My foot was tapping; I was anxious for some reason. It might have been stress. It might have been the new medicine I was taking. It might have just been excitement for the first properly sunny and warm spring day we've seen this year. Crochet is good for relieving anxiety. I worked faster.
A guy turned around to look at me. He was probably in his twenties, but he looked thirty-five with a stagnant office job, a drinking problem, and two kids he only saw on weekends. Unruly brown curls, rumpled shirt, an energy drink can as well as a water bottle on his desk. I didn't know his name.
"Is that croquet?" he asked, interrupted one of the aforementioned group presentations.
"It's crochet," I corrected. "Croquet is...dainty golf."
This made the class giggle. My friend beside me said something about tea. I had a flashback of playing croquet with my friend who lived in the cul-de-sac across the street from my childhood home in Illinois. We had to stop eventually, when her dad decided he didn't like the holes the wickets left in the front yard.
The office-working-divorcee-with-a-drinking-problem-looking student nodded. "I have a grandmother that crochets. She was a retired writer, but she had arthritis and Parkinson's Disease. She took up crochet, and it really helped her hands get steady again. She's able to type again now. And she made me this sweet blanket." He spread his arms. "It's huge."
I nodded. I've made a few blankets myself. "Those take a long time to make," I said.
The boy in front of him turned around at the mention of arthritis. "Have you heard of poke salad berries?"
I certainly had. We'd spent forty-five minutes discussing herbal remedies after class one day--I love how college is so full of nerds--and he'd mentioned that his father took poke salad berries for arthritis. They cleared it up, apparently.
Class resumed. I kept crocheting. I had almost finished the second half of the hot pad by the time I put it away. Honestly, I'm so glad that exchange happened. Class is boring. The people in it, though? They're golden.
What's one of your favorite college memories, or a funny conversation that happened recently? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to review our books on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.