School Conference Time....Let's Talk About Your Marriage

I'm loving high school conferences! Andrew has nearly all A's, and so conferences go like this:

"He's doing great, I have no worries about him at all."
"I love his enthusiasm and energy."
"I would expect he will have no trouble maintaining an A all year, he's just a smart kid."
"He's such a pleasure to have in class!"


Not such an ordeal. I don't really feel like I even need to go to conferences, except to meet the teachers and check in with that one class where he's getting a C+ (boo).


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!

Anyone hear any good stories while talking to strangers lately?  Don't make me do this alone, people. Get out there and start talking!

14 comments:

  1. Lynette said...:

    you know i am so with you here
    it seems everyone thinks i am really outgoing
    but it is an act
    as inside i too am terrified

    but i wonder then if all of us are
    i mean are we not going out on a limb every time
    and that it might not go well

    gosh i guess this is what they mean by grown up too....just that we have to act when we are scared to do just that

  1. Brian Miller said...:

    good job...i love talking to strangers so...cant remember any of them in particular...i know the girl at lunch wanted to be outside it was such a nice day...

  1. I think sometimes it would probably be easier talking to a stranger than it is someone you actually know. Now I wouldn't go up & profess my deepest, darkest, secrets, but I would care less if they judged me versus someone I was close to.

    I don't have any good stranger stories, my hubby though is a people person & knows no stranger.

  1. I think you made a lot of people's evening with your willingness to approach them and be so friendly!
    I talked to strangers at the post office AND at my oldest's school this week!

  1. I love those awkward moments when people let things slip that should have stayed hidden. I just smile with that look of "do you realize where you just went?"

  1. awesome you volunteered at conferences...I don't even like going to them for my own kids.

    your conversations sounded fun and if/when i talk to strangers (or no matter who i talk to for that matter) i would prefer it to be a 'real' conversation instead of a fake small talk conversation as you keep looking at your watch wondering when you can go. :)

    i think you are great at conversation...and you are real...you say what you think/feel/etc and you are humorous as well... and to me that is the best thing for conversation...

    i have many days where i just want to talk to no one...sometimes i think i like email and electronic communication so much so i don't have to talk to many people.

  1. Denis said...:

    So do you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert or something in between?

  1. Midwest Mommy said...:

    I was 5 minutes into a conversation with someone before I realized where I knew them from. They totally knew me I had no idea.

  1. Lynn said...:

    I couldnt be outgoing even if I tried I am just too shy and when I try to talk to others stupid stuff comes out my mouth lol I just stay in my bubble as much as I can :o) hope you have a great weekend!

  1. I completely loved this post. LOVED it. Those were some awkward moments you found yourself in, but you dealt with them beautifully! Sounds like you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, for sure! Love it! :)

  1. Julie said...:

    First, thank you for stopping by. Good luck on entering my give away.
    I'm following you back but not just cuz you came to me first but because I really like your blog. I love the true, honesty, personal writings. I love the pictures too.
    You are getting out there and enjoying yourself even if it's not the easist thing to do. Good for you.
    Now take care and have a blessed weekend.

  1. Raven said...:

    I used to be really outgoing, but I'm so not anymore. I hate talking to strangers, it's uncomfortable and icky, so I avoid it at all costs but only leaving my house when I absolutely have to and avoiding eye contact when I do encounter someone. One of these days I may do something about that, but for now I'm ok with it.

    Having shared all that, good for you for overcoming your reluctance and getting out there. That's awesome!

  1. Brandy@YDK said...:

    sounds like you did great. I'm a pretty outgoing person but I just suck at small talk. Like I say the dumbest things ever.

  1. carma said...:

    I don't know - I'm not sure you should sign up for conference duty again :D

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