Remember my utter delight in Prof. Ben-Porat's class last year? Sadly, she's retired now and does not teach any more.
So, I've had this fantasy wherein I'd walk up to her, prostrate myself at her feet, hug her knees with my left hand, and touch her chin with my right hand (cf. Thetis and Zeus), and beg her to take me under her wing, i.e. to agree to be my tutor on an agreed topic, meeting over coffee once a week or twice a month.
My inspiration and source of nerve in dreaming up this arrangement is Prof. Ben-Porat herself, who once told me of just such an arrangement she's had as a young Ph.D. student with one of her illustrious professors at UC Berkeley, which was "the best seminar I've ever had".
ravell shared that fantasy with me, and we kept talking about writing her an e-mail and boldly suggesting it to her. This morning, I met her at TAU, and she greeted me warmly and asked how I was doing. I smiled and said I'm doing exceedingly well, and all is well except for her not teaching a seminar this year. She smiled, and I continued: "So I was planning on hugging your knees and grasping your beard1 to plead with you to be my tutor." She burst out laughing at my silly allusion to the Iliad, and said "Well, I suppose I could try growing a beard, but how about we just skip ahead to the private seminar idea?" I was speechless, and she continued "Yes, why don't we meet tomorrow morning? Let ravell know, and we'll choose a topic tomorrow." It's really happening! My fantasy is coming true! I smiled happily and thanked her, and said goodbye.
I don't deserve all this good fortune. But I'm not complaining! I'm so pleased I could burst.
Now I need to figure out what I would most like to study with her. I'm thinking intertextuality, generally, but I need to come up with something specific.
1 [no, she does not have a beard; she is, as a matter of fact, one of the most beautiful older women I've ever seen]