It was my first day at the University of Exeter. I had spent two days traveling, and the amount of dry body sweat layered on new sweat on another layer of dry sweat was approaching a dangerous level. As we left the bus in a Kenyon cluster like a strange Midwestern cult, we watched as Sarah Heidt and Sergei waved enthusiastically from the sidewalk with their matching windbreakers and brown sensible shoes.
If you’re not an English Major Asshole maybe you don’t know that Sarah Heidt is liiiiterally a celebrity, almost as famous as Heppy the Pug, who you probably also don’t know. So the way I approached Sarah Heidt during these wee hours of abroad was quite like how one approaches a celebrity in a supermarket: poorly. Believing you’ll be calm and collected. Coming off confused, forcing jokes, and wondering what the heck you’re doing in the UK for a year with a jar of peanut butter, a plastic spoon, and a roll of toilet paper to your name.
Here’s how it went in my head:
“Hey Sarah, I found some cool spots in town (I am a local now please be impressed). There’s a Dollar Store type of place that might be good for supplies called Poundland. (I’m not inept please respect me).
“Hey Sarah there’s a place here called Poundtown. We should check it out.”
So, sorry Professor Heidt. Next time I try to impress you I’ll make a book suggestion that I made my Mom approve beforehand. In other words, hi I’m abroad and this is not a cry for help.