Thursday, May 3, 2012

Musical chairs

Walked into Junior Achievement "Biztown" training today with a few school parent friends.  We were among the first there. They guided us to (enter clever name for meeting room B) the sign in table.  Lots of large, round tables dot the room.

Right there, the decision must be made.  Who do I plan to be?

Many times in college I was roasted by friends for being the front and center girl.  Let me clarify.  I sat in the very center of the front row.  First I got out the appropriate notebook and my reliable pen.  Water bottle.  Glasses case.  Highlighter.  Sticky notes.  All lined up.  I should have just sprung for the pocket protector.

Many times the professor would actually utter the words, "... anyone besides Sam that would like to chime in?"

Ya.  I'm that girl.

Then one summer, I was in graduate school, entering a classroom for the first day of class.  Oh, I had my arsenal of school supplies.  I spotted my friend Mary in the back of the class. 

Hmm.  This might be fun.

It is a social convention that generally the seat you take the first day will remain the approximate area you land from that point on.

So I sat in the back with Mary.  She was so funny, with a dry wit.  She didn't stack her supplies at a 45 degree angle like I did.  She didn't even have a highlighter with her.

I spent the rest of the term listening and learning, but quietly, with a sarcastic flare.  I did use those sticky notes-- to write amusing comments back and forth with Mary.  I didn't offer much to the dialogue.  I did the work.  I got an A.  But I did so in the back of the room.  I didn't get roasted because I was doing all the roasting.

Years later, with my big girl pants on, I stand, surveying the room.  I've relaxed a lot since my school days.  I've even realized that I don't have to get an A.

So...I sat in the back corner.  I didn't share any questions or answers.  In general group answering, I muttered.  I took pictures of my coffee cup and played words with friends on my phone.

And you know what?  It really didn't matter.

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