Friday, March 02, 2018

Nothing weird about Brittany Wagner

I heard an ad on the radio this morning for nitrogen-infused coffee, which is only about the third-weirdest thing I've experienced this week. The weirdest thing I've heard all week is Weird Al Yankovic's "Hamilton Polka" (listen here), which made me smile until I thought my face would break in half. 

And the second-weirdest thing? Having lunch with a reality TV star.

That's right: yesterday I had lunch with Brittany Wagner, star of the first two seasons of Last Chance U (on Netflix). I told the lunch organizer that I'd never seen the show, and she said, "That's okay--neither have I." I did a little online noodling to get a grasp of what Ms. Wagner does, but I still felt like the imposter in the room. 

Ms. Wagner was on campus to meet with various groups about engaging athletes in academics, so about a dozen of us--students, faculty, staff--chatted with her at lunch. She mostly focused on the students present, all of whom got hugs and selfies, but after the students left for class, she talked with the rest of us for quite some time about our advising system and offered some suggestions on how to fix it.

I'm not gonna lie: the label "reality TV star" led me to believe I'd be listening to a lightweight, but I was pleasantly surprised. Brittany Wagner knows her stuff, and she's a terrific listener and an enthusiastic speaker brimming with great ideas. Have I become a fangirl? Maybe so, but there are worse things to be. I mean, I could be the kind of person who drinks nitrogen-infused coffee while dancing to the Hamilton polka, right?

Nah. There's such a thing as too weird.


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