Being recognized by an airport security guard generally means bad news, but for me today it was the start of a surprising connection.
The four hours of sleep last night, my sweat from having run from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2-who knew that the United flight to Montreal checked in at the Air Canada Jazz counter-and my not yet having purchased a grande mocha frappuccino from Starbucks had me feeling, well, less than exuberant as I was walking through the security line.
Then the voice came.
“I remember you,” the female security guard said. ”You gave a presentation about racism in Chicago.”
The woman in question was a part-time Chicago Public Schools Special Education teacher/part-time security worker at O’Hare. The workshop was a Facing History session I did about the Chicago Freedom Movement at the Irving Park library branch for a Facing History and Ourselves workshop about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Although I couldn’t see it, I’m pretty confident that my jaw opened pretty wide.
We had a brief chat about her work and the state of education in Chicago before I retrieved my computer, thanked her for greeting me and headed toward the Starbucks.
I didn’t really need the caffeine, though, as I had already received a jolt of energy from a highly unlikely source.
Of course, this came after the cab ride with a Christian Armenian refugee from Iran who speaks five languages and could be the subject of my project for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. It also came before I met fellow board members Miles Moffeit and Julia Lieblich in the airport.
But those are stories for future posts.
In short, the adventure has begun.