Wednesday last week I was a judge at a science fair hosted by a local elementary school. Who doesn't love little kids' projects? One kid walked up to me and said "mine's supposed to be messy- it's a project about the moon... things aren't really clean there".
We were put into pairs to do the judging. When I arrived I noticed a young guy in the corner playing chess with another young guy, They looked a little too old to be at the school, so I figured they'd graduated and had just come back to help with the science fair. They didn't even look up as the rest of the judges started to file into the room. I recognized him as the child of an old acquaintance and had a vague memory of him going to the school. But I got a little confused when he was sent to a classroom to get something and wondered if maybe he'd been kept back a year- maybe the peach fuzz beard he was sporting was the sign of an early bloomer? There were some other grade 8s his height in town with the same attempts at facial hair. I didn't think much more of it till we were partnered to judge the projects.
me: Hey (name protected to prevent further embarrassment) How are you?! I haven't seen you in such a long time.. you're... not ... still going to school here are you?
young lad: Um. No.
me: ok... yeah.. uh- (I'm cut off)
young lad: I graduated. Last year. From college.
me: I think I've stepped into a time warp/worm hole or something.
(back peddling frantically)
um... I think I just forgot 12 years of my life have passed. Do you even remember me?
young lad: No.
me: yeah... you were probably 8 or 10 the last time I saw you.
young lad: That was probably 12 or 14 years ago.
me: so... science fair projects?
young lad: yeah....