Words From a Stranger

It is funny the conversations you find yourself in sometimes.

From a young age, it was instilled in me to listen. Over and over, I would hear, if you would just quiet down, you might learn something. Think before you speak. Take in the situation around you, reflect on what you have to say, and then say it. This was tough for me to learn. I was a talker, with no filter. But this changed with time, and lessons, and mistakes turned into lessons. I have learned that listening, and fighting back the urge to speak, has allowed me to gain more knowledge, and insight, that I could have possibly missed out on.

So why am I blogging about this?

Well while I was waitressing on Memorial Day, I had 3 people come in that I hadn’t seen before. Through small talk, I found out they were not from the area, but we would be seeing more of them because they were in town for business. It was a slow night, so I was able to engage them in more conversation, than I usually do with customers. I asked where they were from and what type of business. They were from Texas and of course the business was “confidential”. All I was allowed to know was that it had to do with Clean Energy, and “my generation” would really appreciate what they are trying to do.

Now this is when it happened. The urge started coming. I had a pretty good idea what he was here for, and it was controversial. But, I kept quiet. He had passion in him, and that is something I respect. I appreciate passion.

He had some interesting things to say. His wife, who sat beside him, was from Central America where the pollution was so bad when she was a child, she had constant bronchitis. It wasn’t until she went to the jungle with her mom that it disappeared.

He went on to talk about how his generation didn’t think about long term effects on the planet, and for that he apologized. He expressed how my generation are the ones who need to save this world. He stated that he believes in us, and from the look in his eyes, I believed him. To him, we have all of the tools right in front of us, there was just one key thing we needed to do.

Now, so far I have been paraphrasing, but what he said next is verbatim “you just need to unite through science. It is there. A greater understanding of science will save this world.” I smiled because I agreed. I then finally decided it was my turn to add to the conversation. I told him that one of the reasons I decided to go in to teaching was because I want the upcoming generations to understand how important science is. We need them to comprehend science.

I also let him know that Dr. Gary Lash, the shale king, would have disowned me as a student, if I didn’t know that “clean energy” most likely meant fracking. I told him I knew he was most likely up here because of the Marcellus Shale, but I understood what confidential meant, and he didn’t have to tell me about his business. He had a look of surprise, and then laughed because I hit the nail on the head. Before he left, he said he looked forward to more discussions.

I thought about this conversation on my way home. What he was saying, related to everything we discussed in class, especially the importance of science literacy. It is random conversations like the one I had last night, which remind me that I am right where I belong, in the career path I have chosen. When I get that feeling of excitement, or any strong emotion towards a topic, I know the choice I made is the right one. I am excited to be a teacher of science, and forever a learner!

On a different note:

We got to go to Corbett’s Glen this weekend

This picture relates to something Jillian mentioned in my previous post.  My 2 year old doing her own science inquiry (even though she is not expressing it vocally)

3 thoughts on “Words From a Stranger”

  1. Wow! I bet they didn’t know that their waitress was a geologist! Funny that he mentioned science learning to you!

    I love Corbett’s Glen! It is such a beautiful place. I used to walk my dog there often, but there are often dogs off leash there, so I’m leery now.

  2. Powerful. And so aligned with lessons I have learned over my lifetime. So much to learn from being truly attentive to those near us. So much to respect in others – even others with very different ideas about the “shoulds” in life.

    Being a server teaches one SO MUCH about life – SO MUCH about teaching. How little it matters whether or not you are “right.” How much it matters to attend to people. As a person. How to balance intense demands while remaining present.

    Such a great post – thank you so much for sharing this story and your perspectives around and through it. Definitely shaped how I will live today.


    1. I couldn’t agree more about the life lessons you learn working in the service industry. I have bar tended and served for over 10 years now, at times full time and other times part time. I could write a book on my experiences.

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