Last night I went to an evening soiree (fancy name, but we’re usually in jeans) that a friend organizes periodically. She gathers friends and acquaintances she’s met around town and by way of her role as one of our town’s select board. It’s a bit random; my friend chooses people she’d like to connect, or whom she finds interesting, and most of these women I would never have met otherwise.
The fact that there’s such a changing range of ages and interests and backgrounds makes the conversation that much more unpredictable. Last night the talk around the kitchen table wandered through chickens (very hot in town due to their tick-consuming skills), the high school band, accessing state grants encouraging our town to become a “green” town in construction, hosting foreign exchange students, and the cost of pistachios.
I (re-)met a woman who apparently had also worked at the high school where I used to teach. Her name was familiar, but I don’t think I ever interacted with her directly. I was usually sealed away in my classroom, and she oversaw some program that facilitated kids’ transition to the workplace.
She named off several people she still works with whom I must have known at some point. Some I recalled, others were pretty much a blank. She’s still working and described some of the programs and changes in this school department where I spent twenty years of my life. “Oh, that one’s a middle school now?” and “An honor school within the school? With a separate principal?”
Funny how a world that at one time consumed my life now feels so distant and foreign.