This was the toughest day of being a college student… sort of. Erin was scheduled for a private one-on-one meeting in Professor Bell’s office. It was required for all Creative Writing students before they got their degrees.
Professor Bell was known for being somewhat of a bitch. Not necessarily in a bad way. Sure, she was tough, strict, and would occasionally humiliate a student in class, but the woman knew her stuff. She was the chairwoman of the writing department for a reason, and her advice was always gold.
It was still early in the semester and Erin made her way to the professor’s office that morning. She brought her bag of essentials, which included a thin binder and her laptop.
When she reached the office, the door was open, and there was the professor, casually typing on her computer when she noticed her student and cracked a smile.
Erin tried to be her natural self when she closed the door, as the professor had asked, and sat down in front of the desk to unpack her school work. They made small talk as they attempted to get to know each other on a more personal level for the very first time.
As intimidating as Professor Bell could be, she did have a very different demeanor outside of the classroom, with her feminine grace and air of sophistication. In other words, when she wasn’t required to be one, she was the complete opposite of a bitch.
Then it was straight to business. Erin turned her laptop over to the professor for a quick review of her work, while explaining everything that she had written. Professor Bell did a quick review and jotted down notes and thoughts in the process.
“Looks good,” the professor nodded, then turning the laptop back over to the student. “It has good flow. Fairly interesting, though the topic has been done by countless students.”
“Thanks. I’ll try to be more original next time.”
Professor Bell leaned back in her seat. “So, this wasn’t so bad, right? You survived.”
“What do you mean?”
“This meeting. You seemed tense coming in, like most students often are. Now you seem, I don’t know, like yourself.”
Erin wanted to reply: Actually, not so bad at all. In a strange way, you kind of remind me of my mom. Or some of my teachers from elementary school. An outward hardness for effect, but sweet on the inside. And in a surprising way, I find you to be quite pretty. There are a lot of attractive qualities about you. If you only presented yourself in a much nicer way, the college boys would be all over you. So there. But of course, she’d never say that to the professor. It just wouldn’t be right.
“Was I that obvious?” Erin politely smiled. “Anyway, yes, I survived the dreaded meeting and avoided a potential onslaught of my writing being shredded to pieces.”
“You’re a terrific writer.”
Erin beamed. “Thanks, professor.”
There was that moment of awkwardness which often came during the end of appointments, and Erin should have taken that as her cue to leave, but she didn’t.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” Professor Bell asked. “Otherwise, you have been released from my custody, for the time being.”
“Good, because I’ve had enough interrogation for one day,” Erin joked back. “But there’s something I’ve been dying to ask you for a while.”
Bell graciously crossed her legs. “Fire away.”
“You must get plenty of students asking for job recommendations. You know, from your old position with the publishing office.”
And it was some position, too. Professor Bell had previously been a senior in-house editor for a prominent publisher.