Wry Exchange


You Work?
05-15-08, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students | Tags:

 I’ve heard that toddlers think the world revolves around them.  Exchange students must be large tots.  At our final meeting, I brought widgets to give to all of the inbounds. (OK, most of the outbound students, too.)  I told the kids to choose one ‘to remember us by.’  I brought different colors and sizes with me.   FESs happily dumped the widgets all over a table, and were checking them out.   “I like this one.” “No, I wanted that one.”  “Oooh, what’s this one called?”  and “We’ll always remember you; you didn’t have to give us anything.”  🙂

Anyhoo,  FINALLY, one of them asks “Where’d you get the widgets?  Antique mall? Online?  Widget stores?”  I told her I was a Widgeteer, and purchased them wholesale from different vendors.   “Ohh, you work? I thought you just did this.”  Next kid-“Yeah, we thought exchange was all that you guys do.”   Holy Shit!  I asked them if they thought we were put in a closet, and just brought out for monthly meetings.  I explained we were all volunteers, and did exchange in our spare time.  This is May.  Didn’t anyone in charge tell them we are not paid workers?  Didn’t they explain anything about our program? 

The other students-both inbound and outbound students-all started asking questions.   They seemed as surprised as I was that they never gave the adult volunteers a thought.   I explained that we were almost all professionals or retired professionals.  They were cute, asking what some of the other adults did for a living.  “He’s a lawyer?!”  “She’s a Principal?”  We had a good talk.

The kids all found widgets, and so did a few of the other volunteers.   I hope the kids learned that we’re individuals, just like them.

Widget: 2 : an unnamed article considered for purposes of hypothetical example

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