Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Stranger ... along the road not taken

There are lots and lots of days when I wonder if the manner in which I approach my professional responsibilities towards students and taxpayers is worth all the hassles that I bring on myself.  The road not taken is not always easy to travel--way too many potholes that Robert Frost did not warn me about.  Those damn poets and their wild imaginations about beautiful grassy paths that exist only in their minds!

Yet, I continue along that road in my professional obligations. Almost always alone.  Because, every once in a while, somebody pops up to encourge me that I am on the correct path after all.  Like today.

What happened, you ask?  Pull up a chair. Sit down with a cup of coffee and hear me out.

My latest column was in the paper today.  Of course, I was as excited to see that column with my photo as I was when the first of those happened more than two decades ago.  It is always a feeling of "hey, really, I wrote this?"

In this modern age, I tweeted that. Right from my bed.

And then I tweeted again, after having that glorious morning coffee.  I told you I am one excited fellow.  Hey, you will also be that way if you travelled an offbeat path.
A couple of emails from strangers, appreciating my column. Very exciting, of course.  But, what really convinced me today that I am doing alright is an email that the newspaper's editor forwarded me.  An email from a person who is a stranger to me. The email to the editor noted:
Thanks for Dr. Khé's columns. His writing expands our understanding of the world in an interesting, readable style. His students are fortunate, and so are we, his readers.
Note: This is not necessarily for publication I just wanted to express my appreciation to the RG for printing the comments of this brilliant writer.
After reading that email, more than once, for now I am ready to pretend that there are no potholes.  It is a state-of-the-art road that I am on.
Hey, Frost, thanks!  And a special thank-you to that newspaper reader.

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Most read this past month