For the group work in the Interviewing class, the “elders” gathered round. Story time began. This group likes to tell stories. Not relevant ones that will help us to get our assignment done, but just basic life stories. I LOVE these kinds of stories – over a steaming cup of coffee in a café. Not while we are playing beat the clock at the end of class. One fellow opened the activity by speaking of his recent promotion, then another started speaking about the hardships and frustrations of his last job. Interesting? Absolutely. Relevant? Not so much.
8:30 PM (the time class concludes) comes and goes. The young uns have long since left. I was anxious to leave so that I may attend to my evening chores of packing lunches, ironing uniforms, signing permission slips and my homework. Another team member was more frustrated than I. She had tried to make headway and create some questions. She could not because the gentleman who was speaking of his new promotion at work has not yet been able to find a conclusion. She literally got up and left. Awesome. I couldn’t decide if I was impressed or irritated. The story-teller didn’t even notice her absence. The third story-teller then chimes in to tell about his recent lay off and now we have a full on discussion that is not leading us closer to completing this assignment.
More than half of us are unemployed. That’s why we are in school.
Simultaneous thoughts run through my mind as I watch the clock keep ticking:
- Lyrics to an Eagle’s song… “Somebody’s gonna come undone, nothin’ we can do”
- There is a reason why we are called the “elders”
- The transition for all of us in this group into a nursing home will be an easy one
- Violence solves nothing
- I hope that one ounce of my professor’s diplomacy and endless patience will rub off on me this semester.
- His skilled attempts to keep us on track are absolutely useless. We people are dedicated story tellers.
- Bringing a flask to school may be a violation of school rules and I should reconsider that plan for next week
Finally, finally we put 5 questions on paper. It took us 40 minutes to come up with:
- How old are you?
- Do you work?
- Full time or part-time?
- What is your highest level of education?
- At what age do you feel you are an adult?
Just one last item and we can head home…
Image taken from: www.teamrise.com