I had a professional day yesterday at school. I signed up to go to a presentation on English language learning at one of the local high schools. I told very few people what my plans were – and only one of my colleagues asked me anyway.
I got the the venue early, got a great parking spot, leisurely wandered in to register, poured myself a coffee and picked up a slice of lemon loaf to go with the coffee. I found a quiet corner in which to station myself while I sipped and nibbled.
I did NOT pull out my phone. I people-watched. I saw exactly two people I knew. Neither of them saw me. I didn’t approach them.
I finished my snack and entered the theatre for the presentation. Because I was early, I got a primo seat. Again, I didn’t take out my phone to occupy myself, I people-watched instead. I saw one other person I knew. She didn’t see me and I didn’t approach her.
A woman came to my row and, breaking that unwritten theatre code that dictates that you do NOT sit right beside a stranger unless there is absolutely nowhere else to sit, sat right beside me. I sighed inwardly. I didn’t look at her.
The lecture began. The speaker was funny and engaging. I took lots of notes. I paid close attention to both what he was saying and to his power point up on the big screen behind him
We had a twenty-minute break. Because my seat was quite near the door, I slipped out quickly to get another coffee. I waited ten minutes or so to let the lineup die down, then went to the bathroom. I finished my drink and returned to the theatre in plenty of time for the second half of the lecture.
When it was over, I stopped at the bathroom again, then strolled back to my car. Because I took my time, there wasn’t much of a lineup to get out of the parking lot. I was home for lunch in record time.
That’s my idea of a good professional day: no stress, an interesting activity that actually applies to my teaching, a venue that’s not too far from home, and best of all, I didn’t have to be social and talk to anyone!
There are definitely times when I LOVE doing things by myself.