After Roland and Natasha finished telling Ryan and his friends their Ogopogo story it was time for the couple to leave. They had a dinner date scheduled at Natasha’s parents place that evening.
“Do you believe their story?” asked Ian.
“I think they’re telling the truth. I noticed that Natasha turned pale and her hands started to tremble when Roland told the story,” answered Ryan.
“Yeah, the chick was scared out of her wits, probably traumatized by the experience,” offered Jasmine.
“I have some exciting news for you guys,” said Ryan.” I was just talking to Professor Phelge and-”
“Did you call him on your cell phone when you were in the bathroom?” asked Keisha.
Ryan laughed. “ No, he’s here on the other side of the pub. I had a chance to talk to him for about fifteen minutes and pitched our research project to him.”
“Man, you have guts, Ryan,” said Brendon.
“Yes, you are the man,” Kyle agreed.
“That’s why he’s the first string quarterback on the football team,” said Keisha.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence guys. Now let’s get serious. It turns out that Dr. Phelge is starting a one year sabbatical today,” said Ian.
“That’s really fortunate for him especially if it’s his performance review year,” added Kyle.
“Yeah, the old guy hasn’t been himself since his wife passed away,” said Keisha.
“Are you taking any of his classes this year?” asked Jasmine.
“Yes, I’m taking a second year marine biology class with him. Last year I took his introductory course. You wouldn’t believe the difference in him from this year to last year,” said Keisha.
“Yeah, I’m in the same class with Keisha. Professor Phelge has definitely lost his spark. Last year he taught intro biology like a man possessed. He had such energy and passion for his subject. And this year the fire has gone out. He teaches like he’s in a daze most of the time. It’s as if he can’t wait for the class to be over,” said Kyle.
“It sounds like he’s depressed. He’s probably still grieving the loss of his wife,” said Ian.
“So, how is the professor going to be of any use to us in the state that he’s in?” asked Brendon.
“When I first sat down with Dr. Phelge he did seem sad and preoccupied, but when I started telling him about our research project, he perked right up,” answered Ryan.