Rachel Naftel was happily sitting in the passenger seat, working her first day on the job, when her new boss got pulled over for speeding on the way to a meeting.
Dr. Mark Wilson, director of civic learning initiatives, runs an office which does outreach work with various programs throughout the state.
“On the road to
The meeting, which featured the superintendent of the school board, as well as their contact, continued in a
Naftel said she documented the encounter on Snapchat, and that it was one of the most memorable days on the job.
“Some of these things are much funnier at the time,” Wilson mused.
Dr. Paul Harris,
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“I said ‘Wow, you are like the David Lee Roth of honors students,’” Harris said, “And she wrote it down and said ‘Okay, I will find out about him. What did he write?”
He, in good humor, explained to her the reference he made was to a rock and roll singer, and not to an author.
He mentioned this happened a couple of times in various interviews and said pop-culture references are always interesting because you never know who is going to catch them and who isn’t, or who is too focused on being prepared to relax and have an easy conversation.
“I like music, and I [tend to] make pop-culture references,” he said.
Harris shared the story of another instance, in his Honors Government course, when a student mentioned Harambe the gorilla during a lecture.
“What is a Harambe?” he asked the class, who responded with a few stifled giggles and outbursts of laughter. They soon explained to him the reference that they had made, and class continued shortly after.
“Those are the type of small things right there that are kind of humorous,” Harris said. Wilson spoke of his experience taking students on trips to serve communities in Alabama, some which were more interesting than others, and one in particular even leading him to a snake-handling church in a nearby community.
He said that they often provided dinner for the participants of a mentoring program and that his last graduate assistant before Rachel found one situation to be particularly entertaining.
“When I took the ice chest out of my truck and put it on the church steps, I happened to break the top off of the water spicket,” he said. “All of a sudden, we had a great geyser inside of the church — this facility that we had been loaned.”
“Eventually we got it cut off,” he said, “But then we had no water inside the bathroom facilities.”
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