Today started early. By 6:50 AM I stood waiting for a UT shuttle bus to take me to campus where I’d catch the Airport Flyer bus. A fellow male nursing student and I are attending the American Assembly of Men in Nursing 2006 Conference in Portland, OR. I was feeling a little stressed because the Cameron Road bus hadn’t arrived when a car pulled over. The driver rolled down the window asking, “Are you going to campus? Get in and I’ll drive you.”
Seeing as how she was an older woman, I wasn’t too worried about being kidnapped, robbed, and beaten. An offering of ribbon candy was possible, but as long as I demurred politely I figured I was safe. Throwing my bags in the back, I got in. Turns out she’s an English professor at UT and picks up students on her way to work all time. At roughly the same time every day, she drives along the Cameron Road route and offers a ride to whoever is waiting for a bus that early in the morning. Remarkable.
We chatted about my impending trip and she told me her great experience with the nurses that cared for her (several men among them) during a hospitalization. When we got close to campus, she asked me where I needed to go and I offered that she could drop me off where it was convenient for her. “I have a handicap permit dear, anything is convenient for me.” So I directed her to the bus stop. She wished me a good trip, I thanked her profusely, and that was that.
I’ve got to find a way to have her kindness recognized.