She Was Worth My Time

Well, I’m almost 90 days into the new gig. There are days when I really feel as if I’m not being challenged enough. As the resident Technical Assistant, I get asked many questions that are technical in nature and, because I work in a library, I get asked questions about books. Not my favorite part of the job but hey, it could be worse.

Today was basically like any other day. Lots of questions, etc. However, things got interesting when she showed up. There she was, iPad in hand and ready to learn whatever it was I was willing to teach her. We sat at one of the tables and I began to give her information about the topics she wanted to know about. We went on and on about how the iDevices worked and the differences between operating systems, browsers, and search engines. She had so many questions and I made sure that I was able to answer them correctly and intelligently (NOTE: There is nothing worse than an “expert” that doesn’t know what he’s talking about). We seemed to be makin some progress when all of a sudden she switched gears on me. She brought up how she was trying to learn Spanish so we took to her iPad to look for a good Spanish book for her and we were successful.

After we found the eBook for her, It was my turn to listen. She started telling me one of the reasons why she was interested in learning Spanish. Apparently, her neighbors speak Spanish fluently and she wants to be able to understand and even have conversation with them. She also spoke about how she had forgotten most of the German she spoke from when she was a little girl. Did I mention she was born in 1928? Did I also mention that she is French? Yes, I was having a real-live conversation with a “young-at-heart” lady about her adventures when grew up and lived in France during the war and after. It really was interesting to hear all of this considering I was there to help her with her device. Turns out that I got the lesson today and a history lesson at that.

All of my years in the Army and all of the stories I’ve heard from Veterans sort of pale in comparison to first hand knowledge from someone who wasn’t in uniform. She told me about how her brother was killed when he was only 19 during the war. I really felt bad but she went on about how they used to ride her bike with her brother when they were younger. She also talked about how she got married to an American and had a daughter who, incidentally introduced me to her 2 weeks ago. The stories about how her family grew up poor but were wealthy because they had each other made me smile. After about an hour and a half she said that she had to go but would be ready for my class on MS Word tomorrow. I told her that I was looking forward to it. I said my goodbye in the little bit of French that I remembered from high school and walked her to the door of the library.

I have to make sure I am totally prepared for this class tomorrow. I know at the very least, my favorite student will be there.