Friday, August 01, 2008

Early morning greetings to friends in 'a small village'

Yesterday morning I set out at 6:30 to continue my twenty year tennis competition with ‘the Dean.’ He was arriving at Dulles Airport on the ‘red eye’ from San Francisco, but still didn’t want to miss our weekly match. Walking through the lobby of Anderson Hall I exchanged greetings with the Desk Receptionist, a student friend and ‘Nancy,’ an elderly women who works with Aramark Housekeeping Services. Outside, two members of the landscaping crew were beginning their work and we shared brief comments on weather prospects for the day ahead. I waved at driver in the AU Shuttle Bus passing by and greeted ‘Don’ , AU’s electrician who was beginning his morning rounds. Two other acquaintances from Physical Plant Operations turned the corner into their parking lot and we waved to each other. Our paths would probably cross again, one or more times during the day. Walking up the parking garage ramp, I encountered ‘Chris,’ the AU locksmith. We shook hands and exchanged greetings.

In a walk of less than fifteen minutes, at 6:30 in the morning I had encountered and connected with ten or more casual friends and acquaintances. In some cases our relationship spans more than a decade; in many,, more than five years. The experience is much similar to walking down the main street of a small town in rural America, where one lived for many years. The good feelings of community and connectedness are the same. American University can be like that if one chooses.

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