Michaela Merz

Youthful transgression

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I studied journalism as minor. In comparison to economics, which I studied as major, this was an entertaining and relaxed matter. The first years in economics reminded more of a technical study with lots of maths, statistics and econometric models and were a real challenge every now and then.

At the much smaller faculty of journalism, our tiny group of external minor subject students was much pampered.

One of our professors was known as generous bohemian. He was not really funny and entertaining and his seminars were rather boring. But we just had to deal with it. On the other hand he was known for inviting all students to the cafe next to the faculty for a final discussion before the exam, where he discussed his expectations and then paid for all drinks.

Our exam was imminent and as usual the professor invited us to the cafe for 5pm. Since it was one of our last exams at the faculty of journalism, one of us suggested that the 8 of us should meet already at 2pm at the cafe to talk about our future plans.

Everyone was on time and it was funny and relaxed. We talked about the upcoming exam, which was considered as easy. Then one of the guys, who today works as an economic journalist on TV, had the idea that we should drink until 5pm, then have the table cleared and let the professor pay also these drinks. I thought this idea deceitful and did not want to participate but the group thought it a great idea. Then the guys ordered alcohol. We two girls stayed with our soft drinks.

It was a great afternoon, where we laughed a lot and made big future plans and aspired several Nobel prices.

At a quarter to five the table was cleared and we waited, each of us a cup of coffee in front of us. The professor came 10 minutes late. He apologised and started explaining us his expectations. Then we discussed the exam. Shortly before six we were finished. He informed us that he would pay all drinks.

The guy who had had the idea objected fiercely and said that this was much too expensive and that we could not accept this invitation. The professor insisted. The guy objected again. Then the professor made an end to it and asked for the bill. An incredible silence spread. We were anxiously waiting for what was to come. The waiter brought the bill and we only saw the eyebrow of the professor raise. How would he react?  I was very surprised when I heard him tell to the waiter that he should write it on his list because the professor did not have that much money with him.

The professor looked at us and laughed. And said that we should not forget him in the future and invite him for some great banquettes if one day we are very successful. With this the topic was closed. However we were the last group, which was invited for drinks.

Also in the exam he did not let us feel it, we all passed with excellent results. Since all 8 of us had fairy tale careers, we made up for it. Thus I think the investment of our professor in us was worth it.

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