If ever you think you might run out of material to write about, you must immediately go and sign yourself up for a community education class. It doesn’t matter the subject or topic: Indian cooking? Perfect! Salsa dancing? Sí! Excel 101? Go for it!
And then, I promise, the moment you walk in the door of that blessed classroom, your world will open up in new ways and you will have unending stories to tell your grandchildren about the Wonders of Community Ed for decades to come.
A couple of weeks ago when I found myself sitting in a slightly-too-small sized desk in a dingy classroom full of a dozen other eager community educatees. The instructor called roll and, in attempt to present himself as friendly and funny (community ed instructors tend to do this: I say, humor them!), was offering anecdotes as he moved down the class list:
“Margaret? Oh, that’s my favorite aunt’s name! Do you go by Maggie too?”
“Donald? Or is it Don? Don. So, not like the Duck.”
You get the picture.
When he called my name, he followed it with a quick, “Oh, that sounds like a good Scandinavian name!”
“It’s Dutch, actually.” I corrected.
To which, Don (not like the Duck), who was sitting ahead of me, turned and said excitedly, “You’re Dutch?”
“No,” I answered, “Just my husband is.” And then, in attempt to salvage this potential community ed friendship, I added brightly, “I’m Irish, actually!”
“Oh,” Don replied, turning around looking … crestfallen?
I couldn’t get a read, as his back was to me, but those slumped shoulders told me he didn’t give a wooden shoe about my Irish heritage.