First off… this is initially written on pen and paper as my phone is at 39% and I am sans spare battery and cord. Me being me, I have a pen and paper in my bag. Sometimes being a dinosaur comes in handy. I’m sitting in the side hall of the School for Information and Computing waiting for the 530 meeting. I’m early, because… of course, I am early.
A few things strike me. It is quiet in here, which is understandable for Thursday at almost 5pm. There are quite a few people around and all have lanyards and badges with name tags to buzz them in and out of doors. Part of my brain realized it would be this way, I have seen enough buzzing in at work and in the lower grade schools. But I had not really processed it had made its way to the norm on a college campus.
The clothing is about what I had expected (and had tried to dress to fit in, if I am honest with both of us). Jeans, leggings, t-shirts and every day tops. Some really uncomfortable looking shoes to be worn in a place of a lot of walking but then again, I am not seeing a lot of middle age feet.
The building is older but has been given a nice face lift with nice comfortable nooks that allow for hanging out and meeting up (or killing time when you are too early). The lack of outlets and the flooring surface gives away its age, sort of like looking at a person’s hands will do.
The lecture hall door opens and I go in. Non- traditional students, it seems have learned to sit about 4 rows from the front in the middle. Not the back row hiding any more for us. I sit here waiting for the program to begin and am very grateful this is an online class. I am not sure I could do lecture halls again. Technology has been added but it seems to be the same chairs and half sized, flip up tops of 20+ years ago.
The speaker talks, I take notes. I look around at the flipped up desk tops and the iPhones on record mode around me. I feel ancient. We break out in our specific areas of interest. I find my tribe. We go around the room introducing ourselves, I feel a bit less ancient. A delightful young lady next to me introduces herself and says, I am Lexi and I am really intimidated by all of you because I just graduated in the spring. And with that, it becomes much easier… much clearer. We are all scared about new things, starting new paths… finding our way, regardless of age.