Today’s Positive Adjective:
Germane: being at once relevant and appropriate: FITTING
Barb accepted the position expecting a week of work. It seemed easy enough. Assist Professor Heinzman. They said she would help him catalog organize, analyze his research data. Then compile the information to prepare for writing his conference paper.
She arrived at Professor Heinzman’s office and knocked at the door. No response. She checked her phone. She was a few minutes early, so she dropped her bag on the floor and reclined on the wall, figuring she would answer her email. Lost in her work she didn’t notice the thin man walking approaching her.
“You Barb?” he barked as he leaned toward her. Watery blue eyes blinked at her through chunky trifocal glasses.
“Yeah. Are you Professor Heinzman?” she countered. She plastered herself against the wall, sidestepping, to escape his invasion of her personal space.
He didn’t notice as he turned, fumbling to find the correct key on his keyring.
“Good, I hate when people are tardy,” he said as he unlocked the door.
Retrieving her bag, she slung it over her shoulder and glanced at her phone. She almost laughed. Twenty minutes late. Horror replaced her cynicism as the door opened and she looked inside.
From her experience, college professors commanded a generous-sized office, about twelve feet square, plenty of area for a desk or two and a few chairs for meetings. But she had seen nothing like this. Barb wondered how they would fit. Bookshelves lined the room, covering the window, Barb knew it must have. Books, binders, folders, and reams of paper filled each shelf. He had jammed them into any available space. Thick layers covered every chair, table, and counter and overflowed onto the floor.
Professor Heinzman picked his course along a small path and navigated to a spot behind one desk. When he sat, his head disappeared.
“This way dear, you can sit next to me.”
Barb proceeded gingerly afraid a wrong step might cause a landslide. Papers covered the seat he showed her.
“Just move those anywhere,” he said shaking his hand in the general direction of the chair.
Barb scooped the loose papers into her arms. After considering her limited options, she tucked them underneath the chair and sat.
“Where’s the data I need to compile?” she asked, her bag balanced on her lap.
“You’re looking at it,” he said waving his hands.
“Ah, which stack?”
“Why, all of it. It has taken me years of study and refinement to reach this point. I’m on the verge of the Nobel,” his voice rose, and he hopped up and down on his seat.
“Where are your computer files?”
“Computer files?” he scoffed. “I don’t trust those things. Touch the wrong key and everything disappears.” His fingers wiggled as he spoke. Stretching his arms wide he blinked and snapped his fingers. “Poof. Gone.” he finished.
This time Barb laughed when she wanted to cry.
“Okay. Well, can we start with the most germane parts?”
“Oh sure,” he said and flitted around the room pulling a binder form here, a folder there and depositing them onto her lap. The stack grew until she feared she wouldn’t be able to stand.
“Professor,” she called, “Professor.”
Startled he froze and a loose page fluttered to the floor.
“How about I start with this? When I’m done, I’ll come for more.”
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer