Thursday, March 18, 2010

1 Hour X 1 Table =

How much conversation can come out of one hour, around one table? Today, it was about this much:

Hazel wrote + talked about her granddaughter’s tomato allergies; the gap in her front teeth and her endless pursuit to hide the gap; and her feelings about the class – she called the experience “priceless”;

Beatrice wrote + talked about her big win of $85 last week at the penny machine, on the senior center’s field trip to the casino; and about being glad to have been born in the 30’s, when everyone had a natural respect for one another;

Bernice wrote + talked about “yesterday's people” (“Weird title, right?” she asked me, giggling and nudging my elbow – I love that Bernice is such a little rascal) and why she likes to draw pictures;

Michael wrote + talked about WWII in Hong Kong, and his hefty careers first in the garment industry then financial industry, and his peaceful life now, having moved to the U.S. just four years ago;

Helen wrote + talked about her recent trip to see her great granddaughter (“My sons have reared their children to really love my daughter and me, and the children have grown up and passed that onto their children. It just warms my heart so much!”)

Henrietta wrote + talked about her feelings about tax reforms and politicians, with deadpan seriousness, laced with unexpected jokes (Henrietta is starting to joke with us, so cool!)

Mo wrote + talked about how “our” twins, Bernice and Beatrice, first convinced him to join our class – it was such a gracious, grateful dedication to them;

Hattie wrote + talked about how sad she was to send her children off to school, (and this is our all-smiles-all-the-time Hattie);

Cholo wrote + talked about his last job as a trucker and how he has lived his entire life as a Jack of all trades, and how he grew up in Puerto Rico (he and I traded some Spanish – his, perfectly fluent; mine – entirely broken);

Greta, a good friend of Hattie’s, came to our class to hang out and just listen.

And me? I was just mainly thinking, wow, wow, wow, this is where it’s at, this is where life’s at. Being at the table today felt straight-up awesome.