Saturday, December 14, 2013
Say What? jh 12/12/2013
I got a chance to eaves drop on some “Beautiful Minds” discussing mathematical and modeling theory last night. Call me boring, but it did my soul good to hear excitement in the voices of some truly brilliant people who are designing our future and keeping it working.
I didn’t dare make eye contact, afraid they might think I knew enough to actually join in on their Newtonian chit chat. Occasionally, I’ve become a situational participant in an unfamiliar topical discussion, and I’ve been able to offer just enough “knowing” nods and uh huhs to fake it to make it. With these guys, I KNEW I was in waters WAY over my head. Crashing this brainy bash would have been as wrong as burping at the marriage altar!
I’m smart. But smart has MANY different levels. These guys were inspiringly smart! They got into theory like 14 year olds get into females with a pulse.
At first it was like listening in on a Spanish conversation among speakers who don’t slow down like your old Spanish teacher did in high school. I picked up on every fourth or fifth word (If I’m around Latin food, my comprehension rate hovers closer to 50 percent!).
Gradually….Some of the conversation started making more sense because I was gaining some context by being smart enough to sit there, shut up, and listen.
Eventually, they must have pitied me (I was trying to be polite and not act confused!). They switched to subjects I was very conversant in—like crazy drivers who think they’re saving electricity – and the planet—by driving with their headlights off!
To Others We Are…. jh
What is it we really remember about people we meet along our fumbling way through life….
My life has afforded me the opportunity to get to know THOUSANDS of young people. It’s amazing the little things that help me remember so many of them.
A guy that was a student at my school, and about 10 years younger than me, passed away this week. It has me thinking about what it is that STAYS with us as we meet so many.
I remember the youthful football player from loud Friday nights under the stadium lights. We had a number of occasions to socialize and swap chit chat over the years. We weren’t close, but I looked at him as the type who would lend you a hand if you needed one. He never seemed grumpy, and he always acted glad to see you. He was a really big man with an even bigger smile.
He married, had kids, divorced. He built a business and worked hard. Even the new husband of his ex-wife spoke highly of him. Now, he’s gone-- too young-- from a heart attack.
I’m sure he’ll be sadly missed by many because he left such a good, warm impression with those who even casually knew him. And, for those who REALLY knew him, I’m sure he left many fond memories. They now must reflect on those memories….and treasure them. I’m remembering you today, Keith, in my own small way.