My grandmother’s retirement party was today. She decided that the time had come so in a whirlwind of determination, I made it happen in only a few days. That was a month ago. Since, she has been finding things to keep her busy. We do our best to help entertain her. Our personalities are extremely different. She thrives under attention. This party, for example, allowed her to see all of these people she has worked with over the years. The glow was very impressive. The last time she beamed like this was for her 80th birthday when all of her children, most of her grand- and great-grandchildren, siblings, and coworkers showed up for a bash.
My place is in the corner watching it all happen. Probably with this look on my face. Eh. I love one on one conversations or even a group of 3 or 4. Of course, everything relates to everything so I can usually talk about anything.
My ability to draw out meaning, facts, and even generally obscure knowledge is directly related to my engagement in a conversation. There are lots of factors which determine how to get me really into a conversation, but do not expect a cheat sheet here.
This probably has much to do with my family. I have an aunt that used to be a technical writer for Cray, one that is an IBM guru, and one with her Ph.D.. My uncles were mostly all in the military except the hydrothermal geologist. Even there, I had an uncle in the band, one a pilot, and another a navigator. Most of them have a college degree from a liberal arts university or college. Table conversations as a kid were truly enlightening as all these adults really knew interesting tidbits. Someone knew the answer to almost every question in Trivial Pursuit.
Being surrounded by these great minds. I just absorbed it like a sponge. My brother is much younger than I. I hope that by exposing him to the stuff that excited me that it in some way helped him to learn.