I was thinking this morning about hanging out with a friend awhile back. I think I was one of those spontaneous kinds of days where we knew we were going to spend the day together but didn’t have anything planned, which is usually the case 😀
I scooped her up and she had a few errands to run and I was more than happy to taxi her around. We wind up at Whole Foods, shop a little, do a flight of wine, shop some more, another flight and then head back to her apartment.
I cook up whatever it was we bought and end the evening with drinks and Netflix. I typical evening for us 😀
She calls me a people person. Actually she’s called me a lot of things 😛 Another nick name is master of the moment, which I totally OWN! But people person?, me thinks not so much.
Earlier in that day we stopped by her optometrist. I don’t remember what she want there for exactly as I was only to have the briefest of conversations with a woman while I waited.
This optometrist’s office was uber swanky and had a coffee bar, free, with cookies and other treats too! I fix me up a cup and get a treat and settle into a very nice waiting area. After I sit, it is then that I notice a little boy going up and down a series of 5 or 6 steps, over and over.
I hear him saying “all by myself, all by myself” as he goes up and down the stairs. He’s between 2 and 3 years old and his mom has her back to me watching him. I move to get a closer look as this was just the most adorable of moments. After a few moments she notices me and excuses herself and moves to get her child “out of my way.”
I stop her and tell her I am not going anywhere, just enjoying the cuteness that is happening. She smiles. I tell her if I was him I would be doing the exact same thing. I loved stairs as a child.
My father’s mother had a house with a beautiful staircase that stood just beyond the entrance to the house. My cousins and I played on those stairs for hours. She stares at me for a moment after I shared that brief memory and her face lights up.
She had a grandmother also with a house and a staircase. Her grandmother hung wind chimes and other “toys” to the rails that the children could play with going up and down the stairs, which she said they did with great regularity.
She pauses for a moment and stares off into space. She then turned to me and with the most warmth and sincerity thanks me for giving her that memory. My friend emerges from an office, I thanked the woman back, and off my friend and I went.
Telling my friend that same story right after it happened I told my friend that was an excellent example of how I am not a people person. I am like a well supplied classroom, or a well designed stage. I create a space for people to be their best.
I am not so much interested in experiencing the person. I am interested in the person having their own experience. I know this is something of an exercise in semantics but work with me here.
It’s like when I am working with students. I am not really seeing them as I give information. I do see their body language and I will respond to that because I expect the information I am giving to have a certain effect and if it doesn’t then I need to figure out why, and fix it fast.
Again, it is for them to experience something for themselves.
As I think about and read these words, it’s getting harder to argue against the whole “people person” label 😦
It just reminded me of a time a long while back when a new principal had a meeting with me before telling me she was banning other faculty from “hanging out” in my room before school. It was the beginning of that school year and as a new administrator she wanted to get to know her staff on a more informal basis. She invited people to come to the lounge to come and get to know her and she them, and she provided coffee and treats. After about a month or so of school she found out more people were spending time in my class than in her lounge chats.
Part of that reason was the location of my room and the nature of my neighbors. I was located in the middle of the school with a back door that opened up into a back parking lot. It was simply convenient to pass through my room. Another was my class had a refrigerator and a microwave and many of my neighbors brought food from home and would store and heat it there. Yes the lounge had those also, but if you don’t know, teachers only have a few minutes to eat, sometimes not even that.
Another part was most teachers need to get stuff done in the mornings. They are not thinking about “hanging out” before the day begins. Oh yeah, another function of the people coming to my room in the mornings was coordinating the day as many of my students would be seeing those teachers later.
Long story short, I was accused of wanting people to like me. Really?!
If you’ve read enough of my blogs, you know how much a love and appreciate the Ray time and that I find it humorous that God has “blessed” me with a personality that is people oriented, but my free will desires nothing more than me time 😀
I am going to be very busy tomorrow and I am not sure if I will find blog time. If that is the case, I apologize in advance.
Thank you very much readers. Thank you also to whoever spent a good amount of time reading all 51 blogs! Oh my, that made my day 😀