I told her about my freshman advisor, a middle-aged British woman with a kind, weary demeanor, who worked in the telecommunications office and had never once known the answer to a single question I had asked.
“The telecommunications office?” Anna repeated.
I nodded. “I would see her when I went to pay my phone bill.”
“Did she have any other connection to Harvard, other than working in the telecommunications office? Was she an alumna?”
“Yeah, actually, she got an MA in the seventies, in Old Norse literature.”
Anna stared at me. “Old Norse literature? What good is an MA in Old Norse literature?”
“I think it’s useful in telecommunications work,” I said.
the print version cut the last sentence in this extract: "This was supposed to be a joke, but she didn’t laugh." (YES much better without the explanation)