Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I (have never been to) NY

Alternate title: I'm such a dick.

Today was another "I (have never been to) NY" day. This shirt always gets comments. I'm pretty proud of it.

I stopped by campus today to pick up Chidlren at Risk from Mary Allison. Her door was locked, so I stopped by Caldwell to take care of some things in my office, and I ran into Jim, the janitor. He was a fan of the shirt. We talked about some stuff for a while. I took care of my office stuff. Then I returned to Mary Allison's office.

Mary Allison (MA) is a nice 24-year-old woman with a full-time job managing the GK-12 program. I think I've talked to her in person four or five times. She's very polite. She's smart. She's attractive. She's clean cut. She's science-y. And she wears a very large rock on the ring finger of her left hand. (I don't think she's taken a different last name though, so she's either engaged or married and progressive; I get the feeling it's the former) When I noticed this last thing (probably at the second or maybe third meeting) I was a little disappointed, but these things are starting to happen more often now, so I'm starting to get used to it.

MA was alone in the office. I stopped by, picked up the book, thanked her kindly, and was about to leave, when she read the shirt aloud and talked to me about it. I explained that I really hadn't been to NY. We talked a little more about that. Then I started heading out again. At that point she asked how things have been going. I told her briefly how work was going this week and reciprocated with asking her the same question. She explained that her officemate had recently left, so she's been all alone in that cold office. I was the first person she had seen that day. Evidently, when I came around the first time, she was out running and errand and about to get some lunch hoping to run into someone ot keep her company on lunch, but she failed. I asked her if she had had lunch. She pointed to a V8 and said she had. (this was a very sad scene) So I realized that this poor person has had a very lonely day and needed a little company, so I stayed and chatted a little longer. (don't worry, I'm getting to the "I'm a dick" part here in a second)

Apparently she's getting an MBA while she's here at OSU and had just started taking classes. She also pointed out that she had just started reading a statistics textbook (that looked like it was written in 1942) and was just fingering through the table of contents now. Apparently that wasn't for class; it was for GK-12 data analysis. I knew she was sorta science-y, so I was a little surprised she wasn't a big stats fiend. I made some content about engineers and probability and not statistics and so that all being foreign land to me. I don't think she got it... I wished I hadn't brought it up... The probability vs. stats subject was a little nuanced; not a light conversational topic.

Anyway, yada yada, after a while I left. She thanked me for talking to her. I told her to get out of her office more -- she doesn't need to hang around. She thought that was a good idea.

Now, walking from the office, I felt like I had done my good deed for the day. You see, this is where the "I'm a dick" comes into play. I kept an engaged woman company. My gut reaction to this was that it was a cheritable act. I had nothing to gain from this. It didn't matter that she's attractive, smart, and delightful to talk to. Thus, I was being altruistic. And I felt like a good person for this.

This was a really stupid thing for me to feel. For one, MA is a nice person! There were lots of plusses to having conversation with her. I certainly would rather sit and talk to her for a long time than sitting and talking to Jim, from Caldwell, for a long time. Plus, she's a part of this science-y circle of people that I seem to really enjoy being around. It would be GREAT to expand the friend circle into this group. I think I'd really like that. I really really would.

But no, I didn't think of that at the time. At the time, I was just doing my "good deed" for the day. At the time, I was being an idiot.

Oh, well . . . Eventually I have to return Children at Risk. Maybe I'll be less of an idiot that day. I'll just have to wear another clever shirt then.

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