the people we meet

have you ever found yourself thinking back to a time where you were, perhaps, involved with a group of people (small or large), whom you never kept in touch with? it came up in conversation one day between doug and i. i honestly can’t remember the specifics of our conversation but it did have to do with something happening, politically and socially – i started to compare some of the historical accounts similar to what we’re seeing now with the media (albeit, the media is now so much more complex with social media exploding each news so rapidly) from my ultimate, favourite sociology class (dare i say, actually, it was a favourite of ALL my university classes).

i can’t even remember the exact name of the course aside from the fact that it was in my 3rd or 4th year. it was a small class – not more than 20 people – and it analyzed political movements and the media. sociology of cultural media? something like that.

it was an interesting class, to say the least. and i was not at all sure if i had made the right choice when i stepped into that small, dusty classroom for the first time. the prof looked like a grateful dead wannabe – a man stuck in the prime of his life. except that his prime was in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

in fact, i wondered if he was high most of the time!

but as the months passed on, we found ourselves looking forward to this hour lecture. he opened up to us a world that changed the way we viewed life, on a global scale, for the rest of our lives.

i know – the title and beginning of this post suggests my thoughts regarding how we keep, or more don’t keep, in touch with certain people we’ve met. and it sounds like i regret not keeping in touch with this professor.

no. not so. he was great and i will forever remember the great lessons taken from his course. but for the life of me, i don’t even remember his name. and i honestly felt that not keeping in touch with him has kept my memories of him on the fond side. something just made me feel that his lifestyle was probably not attuned to mine.

what i regret more, however, was not keeping in touch with the study group i fell into. i think 3 of the 5 or 6 were the usual to be attending the study groups. there was this woman, probably around my age now when i knew her back then, married and who’s personality was just so contagious yet down-to-earth at the same time. and this other student who was my age and i think his name was hamid but i could be completely wrong. i know it started off with an ‘h’ and i’m pretty sure he was originally from the middle east. he was so kind and very charming.

the three of us, at first, basically needed each other because we felt so lost with what we felt was a prof that was giving us as little words as possible to explain each concept and theory. we were left standing in the hall, baffled, after each lecture. and a bit on the panicky side.

“what was that? was that actually a lecture? what was he trying to teach us?”  and so the 3 of us, which sometimes swelled and shrunk from time to time as we always opened our study group for anyone else feeling lost in our class, met whenever we could to make sense of our notes and readings.

before long, we were all getting it. and the prof made sense to us. we didn’t actually need the study group anymore, but there was this foundation built – and we really just enjoyed being with one another.

funny, though. we were from all walks of life. and if it weren’t for the confusing first month of lectures, i’m not at all sure we would have ever been friends in the first place. our lives were just so different from one another.

btw, in the end, we all got A’s. it was probably my highest grade in university ever because i’m pretty sure I ended up with an A+ (i can’t remember getting anything lower from any of our exams).

i almost felt, in the end, that the prof was very intentional in being ambiguous at the beginning. he sat there, most of time, just smiling at us in between the few words, as if he was just letting us find our way at first. the silent message might have been, “i’ll just wait here until you’re ready for all of this…”

that or he really was high.

anyway – i never kept in touch with any of those people from our study group. but over the years, i think of them a lot. and hope they are doing well in life.

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One thought on “the people we meet

  1. I’ve had that happen to me too. I’m not sure what it is, I think it’s because we went through an intense period of wanting to encourage everyone in our study group that we got close. But, by end of semester, it was over and we went along our way. I did keep in touch with one or two, however, not all though. I also sometimes wonder whatever happened to them.

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