One of the most interesting phenomenons during the first few days here has been the virtual race to meet everyone in the class. The fine folks who have coordinated our activities over the last few days have given us plenty of time to meet all 326 people in the class. I must admit this isn’t really my best area – ain’t shy; just run out of interesting questions after the big 4 (see previous post).
Once we’re in a club, playing a sport, sitting in class or even at the pub I tend to do better but still the race continues. I didn’t realise that I was caught up in it until yesterday at lunch. There was moment, maybe about three minutes, where I wasn’t in a conversation – in fact – there was no one but me and my thoughts. Something once cherished became a moment of panic – why isn’t anyone around me; what have I done wrong. Good God I’m not networking.
A quick cup of tea, quarter-sized creamy but questionable food-stuff later I was under control and back in a conversation. It wasn’t until our walk back from Lords to school that it started occurring to me that despite an average age of 29 years old, 9 years work experience and (probably) pretty solitary lives prior to the 29th of August we, the class of 2007, now needed to be in groups of three to five people at all times.
It’s like each person’s individual debt for being here has created an gravity like force (similar to electron and protron attraction) that pulls us together. Or is it the fact we’ve all been in solitary confinement (except for the occasional bar/pub, after work drinks, partner/spouse or God help you the Jaycees) so when we get 300 + people to spend quality time together we go after it like a thirsty man to a bottle of water?
I thought I was alone in my feelings on this subject until it came up at the pub yesterday. ‘I just don’t feel like I’ve met anybody’ claimed a classmate to my left during a quick drink at the volunteer. ‘Me either’ said another. With 326 people, soon to be 600+, it’s in evitable that we’re not going to know everyone and that just because one person has 5 people beside them, they are feeling the same way that the stray sheep does when they find themselves alone – will it get so bad that we’ll start introducing ourselves in the ‘loo? Hope not but there is a reason we shake hands with the right hand.
Good gracious there’s someone I haven’t met walking in the door. Better go; but I will wash my hands first. :)