Saturday, May 04, 2013

Fourthmeal

Late last night--OK, very early this morning--I was heading home from a friend's place.  It was about a half-hour drive, and I decided I was a little peckish and needed a snackie-snack to get me through 300, the movie I was going to finish when I got home.  At about 1:45 I pulled into the local Taco Bell and placed an order for a few items from the dollar menu.

As soon as I got to the window to pay, the employee animatedly said, "Mr. Miller!"  I recognized his face but not his name; turns out he is the friend of a former student of mine, and they both graduated a few years ago.  We had a brief chat, both of us seemingly pleased to see an unexpected familiar face at almost 2 in the morning.

It's a small perk of being a teacher.

Teachers, where's the most surprising place you've run into a former student?

17 comments:

mmazenko said...

Well .... OK.

But other than a friendly encounter, nothing good can come from eating at Taco Bell, especially off the dollar menu.

I recently ran into a friend of a former student while I was dining at Fruition - one of the top restaurants in Denver and one whose chef is committed to high quality, locally grown, organic cuisine. Fruition's staff all work one day a week at the restaurant's own farm, raising the food they will eventually prepare and serve. We had a great chat about the culinary world and the vision of chefs like Alex Seidel.

This may (probably) make me sound like a food snob, but I believe quality matters a great deal.

tothemathlimit said...

The women's locker room at LA Fitness. Fortunately, we both had our clothes on at the time.

Darren said...

I'm already aware of your health food nuttiness, mmazenko. And that's OK, as long as you don't try to force it on me.

As for "nothing good" coming from eating at Taco Bell, I disagree. I enjoy the taste.

mmazenko said...

Fair enough.

But how can we ask for high quality work from our students when we're willing to accept and even pay for such low quality products? I firmly believe the "fast food" mentality embraced in the United States reflects and contributes to the low standards we achieve.

And, it's not "health food" nuttiness. It's quality food. There's a significant difference. As far as forcing it? No, I'm not for legislating or mandating taste. But as far as fodder for discussion and education, I feel it's an important topic.

Rhymes With Right said...

I've run into current/former students at Houston Texans games and RodeoHouston -- but the most surprising was one running the register at the local Krogers 20 miles from where I teach.

Of course, the most awkward one I have heard of from a colleague involves a bachelor party for a member of his National Guard unit -- one of the strippers turned out to be a former student who offered a private lap dance for her favorite former teacher! Given that she was also a member of his daughter's graduating class, he declined.

EdD said...

I ran into one of my former students at the Hofbräu Haus in Munich some 10 years after she had graduated from high school.

Darren said...

If your thesis is that eating fast food contributes to an overall low standard of academic expectations--and that *is* what I get from your comment above, mmazenko--I'd say that belief is on the other side of crazy line (not to mention the provable or reasonable lines).

I ran into a former student in Rome last summer. Not really "ran into", though; he was spending the summer in Europe, and by connecting on Facebook we realized in advance that our paths would cross in Rome.

Ran into a former student in the Portland, Oregon airport once.

Elaine said...

My husband ran into a former student of mine at the bank the other day! She was the bank teller, and recognized him from when he would visit me for lunch. (Our infant daughter was on a bottle strike at the time, and wouldn't eat unless I was nursing her... Thankfully that only lasted a few weeks...)

Student told husband lots of good things about me... And I was glad I made sure my kids were competent with numbers without calculators ;-)

Jerry Doctor said...

My wife's new OB/GYN turned out to be a former student of mine. She had a new doctor within 6 months. Of course, she also had a new husband within 6 years.

MikeAT said...

And yes, I've run into many of the same people over and over in my line of work.

"You arrested me for this same bulls%$@#" last year!

Darren said...

Elaine, I, too, ran into a former student who was a bank teller once. I'd had her when she was in junior high so I didn't recognize her at all, but her name was exotic and that helped.

TEST said...

when I got my vasectomy it was one of my students who shaved me. I said, I bet you did not ever expect to see this much of me.

maxutils said...

Mine was a twofer .. . I was attending A live promotional appearance by Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara, hosted by their affiliate radio station, KHTK 1140 at Sleep Train ampitheater in Wheatland (Sacramento). I was sitting close enough to notice that one of the roadies/sound tech guys was my former TA . . .. so I went up and said talked to him for a few minutes, during which time he informed me that one of the 'contestants' in the opening act, which was a wet/no T-shirt contest between two local strip clubs (it was a bawdy radio show) was another of my students. She did better in the contest than in my class... Later, my former TA became the cohost of a sports talk show on the same station...I called in a couple of times as "Dan in Sacramento" but he always recognized my voicee and referred to me on the air as "Mr. (insert last name here)" and talked about my class ...

T-Bone said...

In a nightclub in Pittsburgh. On weekends I was a roadie for a local band, and a former student there was ASTONISHED.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Reverse story for me. My instructor at Fort Knox who taught me how to be a tank platoon leader came to my unit and was assigned to my platoon at a tank commander.

I fired him for incompetence after two months.

maxutils said...

TEST ... when I got my vasectomy, it was done by a doctor who said, "I think my son had you for geometry" ...I said, "Um ... how'd he do?" It was a C. I got a horrible infection. I'm not saying there's a link, but ....

MikeAT said...

Max

TMI!TMI!TMI!