Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...


Sharon (not her real name) and I met in an English class after I transferred to her college our junior year.  What else transferred was my attraction for my then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) to her.  I had left the ex back at the school I transferred from and only saw her on weekends... which wasn't nearly enough of a fix for someone as madly in love as I was at the time.  See, Sharon looked superficially like my ex, only without the redneck upbringing and associated baggage.  In hindsight I wonder why I didn't make a clean break and upgrade from coach.

I don't know how exactly Sharon and I hit it off as well as we did.  She really didn't know what to make of me.  I was hyper-kinetic (as now only more so back then) and didn't really care much about the classes I was struggling in for the most part during that first semester we met.  By contrast, Sharon was involved with several pre-professional societies and campus organizations.  She was no sorority girl but was instead very career-oriented and seemed destined to end up with a Ph.D. in geology and in a tenure-track position at a respectable university somewhere down the line.

I never rooted myself anywhere near as firmly as Sharon did in the tacit expectations of academia, but I eventually managed to at least get myself to stay between the reflective yellow lines that pointed to a bachelor's degree.  My ex had transferred in and joined me after my first year there.  I didn't see Sharon nearly as often, but I remember running into her at our graduation of all places.

One day during the next year we were both in our respective masters' programs and had lunch together in the campus cafeteria, a rarity for her.  She was with her fiancé, a military guy who was to be transferred as soon as he graduated.  The two of them were going to marry within the next few months and move away with the government footing the bill.  It didn't seem like they knew one another long enough to be going all the way with things, but she usually stuck to whatever track she set herself upon, and this one led to an altar.  I received a few indirect updates about Sharon through one of my students (since her father was Sharon's major professor), but I was busy with my own program and lost touch with her.

It's somewhere on the order of The Picture of Dorian Gray scary how little she's changed.  Well, aside from adding a couple of kids to the family.  I assume she's still with the same guy, but I have no idea.  She didn't get around to getting the Ph.D. as quickly as I would have expected.  I'm not sure what she did in the interim (the kids are too young to serve as an alibi), but she's finally working on the doctorate now.

Hypothetical letter I'll probably never send to her:

I don't think we were ever actually compatible as a couple, and especially since that window of opportunity is long-since closed, but I just want to say (and I know that as a geologist you'll understand this more deeply than most): You rock!



Copyright 2008 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
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