Separation’s six degrees converge

I volunteered at the Augusta Elementary School’s Book Fair last night, and I’ve come away from the experience feeling more connected than ever. It turns out that the woman who trained me on working the cash register was the mother of two of my favorite students ever; theirs were some of the few faces that didn’t get lost in the vaguely teeming haze of the hundreds (maybe thousands now) of students I’ve taught. This was heartening not only because meeting their mom brought back fond memories, but because I remembered both kids distinctly (I’d been at the wedding of one and written a recommendation letter for another), so I was spared a potentially awkward conversation. Then, a fellow-volunteer turned out to be the mother of a little boy who rides the school van with my son. She made the connection when she recognized my son’s name–apparently, her son had mentioned him. So I’m now more thoroughly connected to the curly-headed little guy who sits patiently while I reach over him to buckle my own little guy in. On top of these happy meetings, the Book Fair was teeming with friends and acquaintances; I felt connected in a way that I never had when I had a long commute to work. Staying local may not be lucrative, but it’s definitely rewarding.

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