It feels like I went back into college when I unexpectedly met this person at a newly open coffee shop nearby.
His stature and body structure didn’t change but his facial feature were – he got older than when I last saw him 5 years ago with more noticeable Crow’s feet and receding hairline. It’s quite funny that his signature style didn’t change too; he’s still wears his old plaid fedora hat and his torn out messenger bag that once he told us that he bought it in a thrift store somewhere. Nothing much has changed but there one additional features that he got, he has a cane and a very calm golden retriever on his left side.
As a very cautious person, I slowly sit beside him and tap his right shoulder and called out his name. He turned his head towards me and quickly raised his left eyebrow. I immediately laughed because I confirmed to myself that in front me is my mentor at college and his first reaction to everything – giving a funny smirk while raising his left eyebrow as he turn his head around.
Seeing by his actions, it felt like 5 years was a really long time especially who lives alone so I decide to tell him some stories – stories of my other classmates, some of the stories made him shocked and some of the stories made him sad but he still wishes them good luck in their future endeavors.
Our conversation took 3 hours and we felt that we have to go back into our separate lives so we decide to end it but before I leave, he thanked me and told me that a year ago he wished that one of his favorite students visit him one day and told him stories and seeks advice just like in college, but of course he knows that everyone’s busy.
I smiled at him and told him a little short story…
I was in college when I met my mentor, he was strict and cold but he gives damn good advises. The way he gives advice to us is somewhat in a constructive criticism way, he might hurt one or most of his students but I know that how our world works – the unbalanced criticisms in Advertising. Even though he criticized our works, I felt that he’s teaching us to have more guts to defend our work and every negative comments that we got we have to turn it into a positive one, no matter how degrading comments.
Without him and his advises, we will never get this far in our career and life choices.
After telling him my story, I thanked him and told him that I know I’m not one of your favorite students but you’re sure the best mentor that I’d ever met.