I'm loving high school conferences! Andrew has nearly all A's, and so conferences go like this:
I volunteered tonight at the conferences also. My very important job was to sit at a table and hand out progress reports to parents before they meet with the teachers. There were actually rules for this job - I was told "the most important rule" is to never give the progress report to the student, only the parents can have it. I made sure to acknowledge how much I respected this rule.
And as such, I asked two young-looking moms if their parents were there and explained the all-important rule. Oops.
I also had about a conversation with a mom who I thought I knew from her son being in choir and I GUSHED about how grown-up he is now and how great he did at the concert....and then 4 minutes into the conversation she just quickly changed the subject and I finally determined that I know her from my last workplace, and she's not associated with that boy or the choir in any way. Oops.
And I had another great conversation with a mom that went like this: "Oh, your last name is Blahblahblah? My son dated your daughter for a week!" As soon as I said it, I knew it could have been a bad scene, but luckily she laughed and said that it was funny how that worked out and she was glad to see they were still friends. Almost an oops.
Sitting next to me at the volunteer table was this wonderfully sweet woman, who I talked to for the two hours we were there and I feel like I know her more than I should. Within the first 40 minutes, I learned that her and her husband of 18 years are living like roommates and as soon as her son graduates in three years, she is leaving with the Peace Corps. She's already applied even. Interesting conversation...I felt like I needed to share something intimate also, so I told her about how I am trying to push myself to get out more and be less-boring. That story is equal to hers, right?
This "Talking to Strangers" initiative is going well!!! I feel like I'm learning to be a better listener, more compassionate, less self-centered. And I'm also learning that people are willing to share ANYTHING with total strangers. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I might seem outgoing, but I don't always feel that way on the inside. Sometimes I just want to move through the whole day and talk to nobody. So this really is a stretch to try and move outside my comfort zone. This last month, I am more chatty with people in the checkout stand at the grocery store, and while picking up to-go food from our local thai restaurant (though I think the owner thinks I'm weird and would prefer I just pick up my food and leave wordlessly), and even while riding in the elevator at work I try to be more outgoing with people I don't know, instead of just riding along in my bubble.
Anyway, I really had to force myself to volunteer tonight. I went to Andrew's choir concert on Tuesday night and a volunteer meeting on Wednesday night, so I haven't really been home. And I love being home. But I pushed myself to do it, and I'm glad. I met another person passionate about volunteering, one who is a mom of a high schooler, one who I got along well with right from the start.
A successful Talking to Strangers night!
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