Yesterday, I strolled through the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The campus is about a twenty-minute walk from my apartment building. I had already published a blog post so I was feeling virtuous. It was a sunny, hot (around 80) afternoon. I always get a kick out of strolling around the campus, especially around Schenley Plaza.
From 2004-2006, I was a fifty-something-year-old TA (teaching assistant) at the University of Pittsburgh, working on my MFA and teaching undergraduates composition and fiction writing (it was really flash fiction). Teaching undergrads was part of the deal when I accepted my K. LeRoy Irvis Fellowship in 2003 which gave me a generous stipend to live on so I would not have to work during my three years of grad school. I didn’t have to teach the first year.
Now I’m a sixty-something-year old retiree and a full-time blogger and I always get a kick out of being around college students, especially students from Pitt. I especially like being around female students.
Oh, I’m harmless. I just look and try to be discrete about it. I walk around campus and around Schenley Plaza (always with pens in my pocket and my small notepad in my hand) which is in the middle of the campus and I watch the young women sunbathing on the grass of the plaza or sitting at the tables (near the eateries that serve the plaza) eating, laughing and talking or studying. And I wonder about their lives. I wonder if they know as much about their gender’s struggle for equality and opportunities and responsibilities as I do. I wonder if they know about their grandmothers and great grandmothers and great-great-great grandmothers who were Suffragettes; or how much do they know about the women I grew up with, the women-libbers and the feminists, the women who were my peers. The women I had carnal knowledge of.
I was a young man in the 60s: a time of race riots and mass anti-war demonstrations and of bra burnings or the wearing of no bras and of mini skirts and dresses and the pill. It was a great time to be a young man (unless you were sent to Vietnam-which I was).
So, I like to walk around the campus near Schenley Plaza and just watch the women. And I smile to myself. I wasn’t always the Old Soldier.
Oh tell me where your freedom lies
The streets are filled that never die
This is Guy Hogan reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. Don’t miss a single issue of my online magazine of culture for adults only. You can bookmark it or follow it or sign up for a free email subscription today.
Hail to Pitt!
All photos of Tessa Kuragi were sampled from Egotastic All Stars.