Monday, June 11, 2007

Small World

This evening was the Board meeting of one of the non-profit Boards I sit upon. As has become the tradition, after the meeting we all went and had dinner together at a local eatery. We sat outside. A fellow came to join us. This happens from time to time.

After a while, the conversation turned to Summer travel plans. The topic of a visit to the city where I was in graduate school came up. The fellow who joined us, suddenly mentioned that the funniest person that he had ever met came from that part of the world. When he mentioned the name. I was shocked! The person he named was someone I knew!

It turns out the apparent 'funniest person' is the son of someone I was in graduate school with. Not only that, I was good friends with his father. Indeed, we even shared a house for a while. This was just a bit too wild.

It also turns out that the 'funniest person' was also a student in the first class section that I ever taught all on my own. I still remember his grade (A). What made things better was that the visitor could even recall an e-mail address. I really hope that it is still current. However, it makes one aware of just how small the world really is these days. What are the chances that someone in Louisiana, should know someone I knew quite well, over a decade ago, in another country? I know where the father is, due to professional matters, but we do not keep in contact. I wonder what the odds of this are?

I have had something vaguely similar happen once before. When I first arrived in Louisiana, there was a local musician who shared the same name with someone I was in high school with. I naturally discounted the possibility that they could be the same individual. A little while later, I learned from a school contact that it was, in fact, the same person. When we met for the first time, after nearly twenty years, we recognised one another immediately. We have remained in semi-regular contact, although he is now in Kansas, due to Hurricane Katrina.

In both cases, I am amazed about how there are odd connection's between people, in disparate places and through time. I think that this is wonderful. Of course, the advent of universal e-mail and web pages also has made making this kind of contact easier to maintain. It is still wonderful when it happens though. It makes one think...

The CP

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