‘Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.’ – Albert Einstein
Being an elementary school teacher, I’m always excited at the opportunity to enter the ‘grown up’ world. I know many people who have careers that include extensive travel and even though the allure of a vacation flight is different than a business flight, the excitement of mature activity is still very appealing. While I was a ‘stay-at-home’ mom, the thought of rw2 going to the airport and flying to a new destination, staying in a hotel (with maid/room service), eating out and conversing with actual adults filled me with envy as I stayed behind to handle the daily grind of diapers and formula. When the kids got a little older, my days became filled with conversations of the potty, tummy aches and ‘accidents’.
As of this writing, I am sitting at O’hare airport awaiting our flight to Doha, Qatar via London. Rich has been invited to attend a series of round-table meetings with the QCRI (Qatar Computing Research Institute) and we’ve managed to turn his 2 day trip into a week for the two of us. Having taken the time off of work, told my students I wouldn’t see them for a week and kissing my kids good-bye- here I sit, but my grown-up world illusion has already started to crumble.
While checking in, a man took issue with the United representative because the airline’s computer check-in awarded him a complimentary first-class upgrade, but couldn’t issue him a paper boarding pass. Yes, United was giving this man money and he was upset that he had to wait in a 5 minute line to be issued a paper boarding pass. Upon receiving his ‘golden ticket’, he proceeded to grill the rep as to the ‘process’ of not being able to receive his pass via the kiosk, thus detaining him another 15 minutes. He then headed for the 5 city-block-long security line which he would have been through by now, had he not felt the need to whine and complain. Lesson: when the teacher gives you and extra graham cracker at snack time, say thank you and move on.
Here’s a riddle for you… what’s worse than the check-in line? Security. With all of the recent additions to the security screening process, travelers are always advised to take extra time while traveling to get through the airport. Our line-mate for security didn’t seem to get that memo. With only one metal detector and 1 scanner for 2 large lines of people, she proceeded to gripe about the lack of movement of the line, sigh heavily when the scanner was closed and shifted from foot to foot when other travelers took forever to remove their shoes. ‘My flight started boarding 10 minutes ago’, was her commentary and rw2 demonstrated eloquent reserve when he didn’t say, ‘Why didn’t you leave for the airport sooner?’ Lesson: always make sure you leave the playground in enough time in the morning to be present for ‘the pledge’.
Ok, so perhaps this grown-up world isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. After all, at the end of the day, kindergardeners still like you, still hug you and look forward to the next time they’ll see you. Wait, what’s that? We’re having a 2 hour flight delay and will probably miss our connecting flights? Lesson: sometimes you can’t go outside for recess.