I’ve always been told to make the best of a bad situation. It’s tough to do sometimes but that’s what this story is about. In my chosen field of audiology, the technology used with hearing impaired students changes almost overnight. Every night. Continuing education was a necessity and I’d always been proud of myself for keeping on top of the equipment needs of my students.
According to the parent of one student, the year I turned fifty my brain cells died, both of my college degrees disintegrated, and I was little more use than a piece of rubbish blowing in the wind. What was I to do? I shipped myself off on an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco to attend a two week class that was guaranteed to fix all my shortcomings. Wasn’t that noble of me? I like to think that it was that parent’s tax dollars that covered the entire cost but, in truth, I don’t think she bothered to work.
Ahhh, sweet San Francisco! I stayed in a hotel that was five blocks from the school where my classes were held. The weather in February was gorgeous and I enjoyed walking each day. My path took me by my first Whole Foods grocery store (#17) where I quickly found out why it’s also called Whole Paycheck! I stopped every morning to buy my lunch, being careful to save each receipt for reimbursement. I ate breakfast at the hotel and there were several evenings when dinner was provided as part of our workshop. Most of the time, I ate dinner at a Thai restaurant right next door to the hotel. It was good that I was walking so much because I ate mango and sticky rice five nights in a row.
In the middle of the two weeks, during which we worked long and hard hours, we had a two day break. I was able to meet up with Laurie, one of the girls I spent a summer touring Europe with and who lived in nearby San Jose. I also got together with a college friend and we had a wonderful time! We went to Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay, where I’d never been, and we strolled around The Presidio. We walked across The Golden Gate Bridge (#18) and then we had to walk back across to get our car. We walked Lombard Street, which was fun, crooked, steep, and beautiful with flowers. We went to Chinatown, where we ate lunch at a family restaurant as opposed to a tourist restaurant, and we rode the Cable Cars (#19). We ended the evening with dinner at Top of the Mark, followed by a performance of Wicked.
Did I learn anything while I was gone? Not really, but it was a great break from my family and from work. I did have to make and present a PowerPoint presentation (#20) which I’d not done before (and have never done since). I did learn that I have muscles in my calves that I’d apparently never used before. I also learned that some people are just miserable and can never be pleased. I’ve learned to take just a few steps beyond normal and to pity those people for all that they lack in their lives.