Rhonda and the Only Guy in Class by
(11 Stories)

Prompted By Women's Lib

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I was at community college in 1972 and scrambling to fill my class roster for the semester. Womens’ Studies was one of the few classes still open so I signed up.

The professor was brilliant, patient, respectful and clearly progressive in her views about “Women’s Lib.” The class consisted of a diverse set of young, old, curious, angry, smart and funny women…and me. Which at times made me the sounding board, the control group, the coach, the victim and the recipient of lots of attention. Which at first scared me, and then later delighted me.

Rhonda approached me on the first day. She was confident and beautiful and far more worldly than I. She had opinions and wanted to know mine. We became campus companions during those two years and she opened my mind to thinking outside of the books I had immersed myself in. We went to a McGovern rally together on campus because we heard Jane Fonda and Neil Young were going to be there. I remember visiting her charming old Victorian home and hearing Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” for the first time. I still lived with my parents, and when she stopped by once, it was obvious my mother didn’t appreciate Rhonda’s street smarts.

I transferred to university and we lost touch. Years later I ran into her at a coffee shop, where she was a waitress. I had followed the straight and narrow path of college>career, while she had traveled the world. She was happy to see me and glad things had turned out well for me. She was as sharp-witted as ever and clearly knew how to handle the customers. My friend Roger was with me. Always “on the make” with a pick-up line, he couldn’t resist flattering Rhonda, still striking and exotic in her waitress uniform. I don’t remember what was said, I just remember that I never saw a woman put Roger in his place like that. I laughed out loud.

Learning about “Women’s Lib” in class was one thing. Learning it from Rhonda in the real world was another.


Profile photo of Mike Sanchez mike7353

Characterizations: moving, right on!, well written


  1. Patricia says:

    Wonderful story Mike, although I thought maybe it was going to end with you and Rhonda living happily ever after! I took a Women’s Studies class that same year at a small women’s college, but we weren’t a diverse group and with no men in the class it was always an intense discussion/argument.

  2. Suzy says:

    I enjoyed this story, and your perspective on Women’s Studies. I especially liked the description of your role in the class, which at first scared and then delighted you. I agree with Patti that it seemed like you and Rhonda would end up together, but obviously that isn’t what happened. Hope you will keep writing!

  3. Susan says:

    Sounds like you were enlightened from the start. Not every guy would sign up for Womens’ Studies even to fill a class requirement. Keep the faith, brothah!
    And keep writing!

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    Brave of you to sign up for that class in the first place and clearly you got a lot out of it. Nice to hear your voice. Glad you shared this story.

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