Saturday, March 31, 2007

From the "it's a small world" department

This morning I was sitting in the lobby of the Hamilton Crowne Plaza here in the nation's capital waiting for my 7AM breakfast interview. I'd positioned myself off in the corner so I could see both the elevators and the front door. I spent a few minutes admiring the craftsmanship of the room; the ceiling was beautiful with gold leaf and a strong memory of the Roaring Twenties.

A couple minutes before 7, the elevator doors opened and I caught the glance of a man getting off the elevator. He reminded me of a former teaching colleague, but in my mind I quickly decided it was my mind playing tricks on me. Often, I'll see someone who reminds me of someone else. This former colleague, a math teacher, had been teaching at the same school for more than two decades; he'd never leave.

When the head of the school arrived, we walked into the hotel restaurant for some upscale vittles. As we entered, I looked over at the man I'd seen earlier. He was looking at my funny, and I was thinking he had a remarkable resemblance to my former colleague.

Well, of course, it turns out it was my former colleague, and he is indeed moving on to a different school after more than two decades in northeast Pennsylvania.

We shook hands, and I told him I'd find him at the job fair after my breakfast.

After breakfast, we wandered over to the job fair; actually, the head hunter/placement firm running it, Carney Sandoe & Associates, calls it a conference. To my mind, a conference is a thing we go to hear people speak and pick up new ideas to take back to work. This was a job fair, with candidates looking to have 20 minute interviews and school administrators looking to meet candidates to make decisions on who to bring to campus for further interviews.

I call it a meet market. And, I was crashing, since I'm not a Carney Sandoe candidate. I'm managing my own search, through and through.

Well, I found my former colleague and we traded stories and I was able to get caught up on the goings on at the old school and he was able to hear about my ever-growing family.

Nice to see a familiar face, particularly of someone who I respected as a teacher and as a colleague. Makes the process of the search slightly more palatable.

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