This post first appeared on a friend’s website : http://www.tahoetruckeehome.com when I wrote it as a guest blogger.
A few years ago, before I fell in love with ski skating, I was an avid downhill skier. But I was a perpetual blue run skier, in other words – a scaredy cat!
One day, I was riding the chair lift with two men. The older man said to the younger man, “ We’ll have a cup of tea when we get off.” From their accent, I knew they were British and I asked them where they were from inEngland. The older man told me that he was currently living in Wales and that he graduated from the Universityof Liverpool many years ago. He asked me if I knew where Liverpool was and I said, what a coincidence, of course I knew where it was since I also graduated from the same university in 1975! I asked him what he was doing in Wales and he told me that he was the Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University. When we got to the top, I said to him, “Remember me, the girl fromTruckee!” He said, “I will!” and we parted ways – they were off to have a cuppa, while I skied to the bottom.
A week after this conversation, my niece fromMalaysiaemailed me. She had decided to do her Masters degree in Marine Law atCardiffUniversity! She had to wait for the next year to enroll because it was too late to get in that year.
What a coincidence! My mind started to churn – I had just met the Vice Chancellor of THAT university! I went online immediately and typed “Vice Chancellor, University of Cardiff”. Out popped a name – Sir Brian Smith. I had no idea if it was even the same man since I had not asked for his name. I decided to send him an email. Remember, this was early days for electronic mail and I was not expecting a reply.
I began by saying, “Hello Sir Brian Smith, remember me, the Girl fromTruckee?….. I wrote about my niece wanting to do her masters at Cardiff University. I forgot what else I wrote but I certainly was not asking him for any favors. I was not even sure if I got the right person!
Imagine my surprise when not five minutes later, I received a reply from Sir Brian! He said he certainly remembered me and was pleased to know that my niece was interested in furthering her education at his establishment. Then he surprised me even further, by saying that the Director for International Students was heading to Malaysia and he would ask him to meet with my niece!! They did meet and as a result she was able to enroll for classes that very year and not have to wait til the next year.
A little conversation on a chairlift, connected people from three continents.
My niece is now a successful marine lawyer inMalaysia. Sir Brian Smith is now retired from the post of Vice Chancellor.
The next winter season, I started a conversation with yet another older gentleman and he said he was the Vice Chancellor of Santa Cruz University … but that was not how my two kids got into UC Santa Cruz!!