Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Amen Family - How It All Started (Part II)

Around the same time I was getting ready to move to OK, Mr. Amen was finishing up his undergraduate college experience as well.  He is from Latin America originally and had never thought of moving to the US.  His future plans included graduate school at a university in Chile.  His uncle lived in Tulsa and had invited him to come up for a semester to study at the En.glish Lan.guage Ins.titute (ELI) at O.RU.  He could stay with his uncle, use his uncle’s car and improve his English language skills.  Mr. Amen’s mother encouraged him to come to Tulsa, so he did.

He arrived in Tulsa in January 1999 and started attending O.RU’s E.LI.  His English was already light-years ahead of his classmates.  The professors encouraged him to apply to the graduate school of business at O.RU for his MBA.  He thought, why not?  Mr. Amen took the GMAT, applied and was accepted.  He was set to begin classes in the fall semester 1999. 

Good thing he had no intention of staying in the US!

During the spring and summer semesters, I had some catching up to do in business courses.  I took more than a full load to complete the equivalent of an undergraduate major in business.  On the first day of classes in January 1999 I met a wonderful friend, “Grace”. Grace, her husband and her parents would become my surrogate family during my time in Tulsa. 

It was a Thursday, the evening of my first class in August 1999, and I was sitting in the front row of the lecture hall with Grace.  I was watching for another friend to arrive when I turned around and looked over my left shoulder toward the rear of the room.  That’s when I saw Mr. Amen.  He was leaning back in his chair, trying to look nonchalant.  He was wearing dress pants, a button down dress shirt with a sweater vest and a big, ugly grandpa tie.

“Who’s that cute guy over there?” I asked Grace quietly, nodding my head in his direction.

“I don’t know, must be new,” Grace answered.  “Go talk to him.”

“No way!  He’s way too cute to talk to,” my face must’ve turned 50 shades of red as I responded.

Yup, I was smitten.  From the very first moment I saw him.  Love at first sight.  Well, if not love, at least intense like!

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