I can feel the bite of this morning’s incident still coursing through my veins. I had been walking to class, minding my own business when a huge black dog came racing around the corner and sunk its teeth into me before Professor Goldie could even say “Down!” The professor was apologetic, but it seemed more like an afterthought than genuine concern – she then started crying uncontrollably. She made me promise that I wouldn’t tell a soul that her dog has bitten me, because if I do, “They’ll find out.” It certainly wasn’t what I expected from her office hours today, as if things weren’t weird enough already.
In shock, I did my best to patch up myself with whatever odds and ends were lying around until eventually making it home whereupon further scrutiny revealed that yes, indeed: Professor Goldie’s dog had bitten me in the leg. I couldn’t check on the wound sooner because I had become preoccupied by an apparition. As I made my way past the library, I made a turn under the rain canopy to find the ghost of regimes past; Richard Nixon proceeded to chase me across campus screaming something about ‘cover-ups.’ It sounded alarming at first, but once we got back to the language villa, he settled down long enough for us to get acquainted over some tea (black). I think the international atmosphere made him a bit worried about his behavior, and he quickly collected his thoughts (can ghosts have thoughts?). He told stories of White House visitors who would come in dressed as ghosts just so they wouldn’t have their photos taken by reporters camped out on his lawn every day – well you learn something new every day don’t ya? But now here we are back on solid ground … or asphalt, rather. I remember asking Mr. Nixon if he knew of any remedies for dog bites, to which he simply replied, “The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” Maybe he was flirting with me?
For days after the bite-and-chase incident, all bets were off while friends tried various remedies ranging from special ointments made in Provence to boiled witches’ brews found deep beneath Parisian cobblestones – almost anything except actually visiting the HCC because let’s be real, no one has time for that, amirite? I’d much rather just bite the bullet and get an infection. Mercifully though, things started to take a turn for the better once my dear friend Audrey arrived with a box full of homemade healing crystals which didn’t work exactly how advertised (it took several weeks for them fully activate) BUT miracle upon miracle, suddenly there was only the faintest trace of Professor Goldie’s dog’s bite remaining. My wound disappeared as quickly as a stoner’s smoke rings through 1970s London fog – I was left without any lingering evidence from this caper gone awry. Therein lies the moral, I believe: sometimes life takes unexpected turns yet ultimately painful memories dissipate faster than the most fleeting of moments.
And so, I stand before you today with a greater understanding of life’s impermanence and a newfound appreciation for the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. The greatest takeaway from this experience is that no matter what obstacles may arise, with a bit of perseverance and a positive outlook, it is possible to come out on the other side unscathed. So, I urge you all to remember this lesson – always aim high, never forget your dreams, and remain steadfast & resilient against winds conspiring otherwise.