Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A good friend

In the Spring of ‘85

I pulled down my college catalog and wrote down all the classes I would need for the next semester

Then I swung by my advisor’s office and asked him to sign my course card

The whole process took about 30 minutes

if that long

and on my list, was a class titled COMO 210 – PUBLIC SPEAKING

taught by Dr. Evan Ulrey

It would be late into the next term

or some time after that

that I would realize I’d written down the wrong course number

that I didn’t need COMO 210

I remember that fact

But I also remember this …

There couldn’t have been more than 10 of us in the classroom

and one day, we discussed friendship

and Dr. Ulrey said, “A good friend is someone with whom you can be completely quiet, and it’s not awkward, not even one bit”

or he said something very close to this

and all these years later, I think back to that lesson

on the days I’m on a long road trip with my wife

or when I’m sitting at a baseball game with my college roommate

and there’s quiet

and there’s contentment

and it’s not awkward, not even one bit

And so, I’m grateful for that class I didn’t need

for the lessons on public speaking

and for the warmth and wisdom of Dr. Ulrey