I work with about fifty other people. This includes teachers, special education assistants, clerical staff, administrators, and a few itinerant people who pop in and out of the school once a week or so. There are around 500 kids in the school, ranging from age four (some Kindergartners have late birthdays and haven’t yet turned five) to thirteen (one or two of our Grade 7 kids).
I think it would be safe to say that my workplace is comprised of people with a very wide range of ages.
Yesterday in the staff room at lunch, a group of teachers was talking about age as I came into the room. Someone said something about being born in 1983. Oh, I thought. I got married that year.
Someone else chimed in about not even being born at that point yet, while another teacher responded that he’d been in Grade 7 in 1983. Yet another person asked him what year he’d been born in, then. I thought, you can’t figure that out? You’re a Grade 7 teacher yourself and you don’t know how old Grade 7 kids are and how to calculate what year he was born in?
But he simply replied that he’d been born in 1972. Wow, I thought. I was in high school in 1972, in Grade 9 I think. I was technically old enough to be his mother (though I hadn’t even had my first real kiss at that point of my life).
Another woman then mentioned that she too was born in 1972. Someone else announced that those two were a year older than she herself was, having been born in 1973. Another guy said that he was a child of the sixties, having been born in 1969. Well, I thought, now we’re getting slightly closer to my own vintage – but I turned twelve in December that year, so I think I would qualify as being more of a child of the sixties than he would. I actually was a child in the sixties, not an infant.
The woman standing next to me then said, “Wow, my husband is so much older than everybody here, and he’s already way older than me! He was born in 1962!” I thought, still not close enough! I actually remember starting school in 1962.
At this point, I took a good look around the room. Was I really the oldest person there? Now, I know for a fact that there are a couple of staff members who are a few years older than me, and at least one who was born the same year as me. But none of them were there at that particular moment. I truly was the oldest person there!
I very quickly left the room then, lest someone ask me what year I’d been born in.
I suppose I could tell them, but usually people don’t believe me, as I look a lot younger than I am. (I really do! Ask PG or DD – or even my mother! Also, I’ve been told that I act a lot younger than I am. Which may or may not be true. Or even desirable.) So anyway, even though I know that age is just a number, I prefer to keep everyone guessing. It’s less stressful and more fun for me that way.
And in the meantime, I’ll just keep out of the staffroom during discussions of age. We older people can’t hear very well anyway.