Today is the 4th August, meaning that there are way too many days left of this month for my taste. Why you might ask? Well, I am counting the days until the man I adore will be in town again. Pathetic, isn’t it?
But seriously, I did some work concerning my hitherto non-existing relationship with him and as it is, I may be getting a job in our Institute; that is if the Boss, the professor, agrees to this. The great thing is that it was not my idea but his. I had been searching for a reason to speak to him and during one of my beloved afternoon naps I got the idea to offer myself as a beta-reader for his work in English. Usually the scientific work in Germany is of course in German and anyone here could beta-read this, but I thought, since I study both History and British Studies would not I be perfect for this job? Because very few historians who work in the Department for the Middle Ages or the Ancient Empires know English well. He does, though (another reason why I like him, nothing is worse than someone speaking English with a broad German accent…) and well, too. He got his Ph. D. in an English speaking country (I won’t say which one) but thankfully he does not copy the funny accent there.
So naturally he is able to write articles about his scientific work in English but thought my offer to beta-read it not ill-mannered or impolite. Considering our different positions here at university it was still somewhat risky to ask. Anyway, I am very happy I did and he was so delighted that someone had actually read his work (with obvious interest and enthusiasm) and had approached him to talk about it. Seems to me that not a lot of others ever did this, although the topics he works on are indeed important and I did not have to feign any bit of my interest.
Considering that until then I had been hardly able to talk to him this was a huge success, we talked about 5 minutes (alone) until we were disturbed by one of his colleagues who needed some misplaced key. He asked me to hand in my notes on the article I’d read by him and I reluctantly agreed. Reluctantly because remembering my position I played the humble one (I do admire his intelligence and knowledge though, so this came very naturally to me). However, he asked me two times more, always with a smile and I more than happily consented.
Next time I saw him was two weeks later, due to some holidays, during his visiting hours and I was freaking nervous. I had hoped my excitement and anxiety would lessen with each try to talk to him but it really doesn’t. He makes me too giddy and does not even realise this!
At first, he did not remember the reason for my coming and I thought: “How embarrassing!” I reminded him and handed over the few sheets of paper. While he browsed I explained that I had corrected the work as if I had beta-read an essay of a fellow student; something we do now and then. In fact, it had taken me five minutes just to read the first sentence because I had kept blushing and hiding my face with my hands. To me reading his words was like getting to know his very own thoughts and I almost felt like trespassing on his privacy. Ridiculous, isn’t it?!
Then, in one moment I am still hoping he won’t notice how tense I am, in the next he tells me about this book they (the department) want to publish in English and that they are searching for someone to proof-read it; whether I could imagine myself working for them? Of, course I could! Now, the draw-back is, that the professor, as I already mentioned, has to agree and he has been out of town these last two semesters, so he is not really up to date concerning the number of students that work for his department nor whose contract might run out, etc etc. He also did just very recently get married and is somewhat … errr distracted. I really, really want this job! I would not only be able to spend some time with “the man I adore”, I could also learn a lot and get to know all these very intelligent people. This might be helpful in finding a job later on!
In September the decision will be made whether I may work there or not. I have handed in no application, nothing. I was not asked for anything like this, because the whole plan is as up until now just an agreement between him and me. It still astonished me very much that he is doing this for me, although he hardly knows me. I mean, I must have made a very good impression on him so far!
Just one thing is annoying me a little, though. Whatever happens, he does never approach me first. Once, after an excursion we (some students and some professional historians) sat together in a café, we were even in an easy talking distance. He smiled, I smiled, our eyes met now and then, but for 2 and a half hour we never talked… well, I hope we’ll get to that in due time.
Since then I had some other smaller chats with him. It’s great, I can always ask him about his research or my may-be job… or better to say, I could. He’s not in town and I can not even run into him in the supermarket or a café, not that I ever was so lucky. However, when I had the chances of being with him, the first moments were always horrible (because of my giddiness and inexperience and because he’s sooo handsome). But when these are over, it is so much fun, he’s fortunately very easy to talk to (good for me!), funny and delightfully charming even though I guess he is not trying to or oblivious to his own abilities.