I was teaching a class of people preparing for their law school admission tests. They were taking a quiz, so it was relatively quiet in the room. That's when I heard the front door of the building open and someone walk in.
"CRAPOLA!", I remember thinking. I'd forgotten to lock the front door before starting the class session. All of the students were already there, happily taking their quizzes. Who was in the building?!
I remember a couple of students looking up at me, we had all heard the front door. I strode to the back of the classroom to go out and see what was what.
I walked down the dark hallway and came upon a man, maybe about 30 years old? He was standing in the front lobby looking into the windows of the front office.
"Can I help you?", I said with authority.
He turned quickly towards me, startled.
"Uh...Uhm... Is the office closed?", he asked.
"Yes, are you a student?", I asked.
"I... uhm.... uh... I just wanted some information", he replied.
"The office is closed now. It will reopen in the morning at 8 a.m.", I told him. Then I handed him a brochure that was sitting on one of the tables. He nervously thanked me, then abruptly left.
I abruptly locked the freaking front door.
I honestly don't think he was looking for information. I think he may have been thinking to rob the place. I just wanted him out of there. And I think what made our exchange so short and successful was that, despite the few words we shared, my nonverbal communication went more something like this:
"Obviously the office is closed at this hour. Currently in the building, there is just myself and about 10 students, two of whom are soldiers who have served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who will not hesitate to take you down should you so much as even think about doing anything harmful to me, the rest of the students, this building, and anyone else even remotely associated with it, past, present, or future."
Because that was the truth.
There is a LOT of military personnel here where I live. Active duty, retired, somewhere in between... And I think we as a city are very grateful for and supportive to them. It's sad that's not the case everywhere in the U.S.
Yesterday was officially Veteran's Day, but like the stock market and the post office, I'm taking today to observe, and say a big THANK YOU!
Starting with these 3...
And also to close friends, many neighbors, the Maid of Honor at my wedding, several students, and blog friends!
Happy Veteran's Day (in observance of)!