19 January, 2011

Hello. My name is Methusalah.

I really am not somebody who minds aging. I did a little, happy dance in a tiny elevator in Istanbul when my Iranian friend pointed out my first gray hair. Badge of honor thing, I think. However, I can find humor now that I'm reaching a new set of benchmarks. Last fall, my freshmen students were half my age. Half. Many people in my graduate program never saw the 70s. Some barely saw the 80s. As noted here, I no longer qualify for many student discounts in Geneva because I apparently long ago aged out of the category.

Today, the UNHCR interns hosted the monthly interns' lunch for interns across the UN system. I am well aware I am older than most interns here. It was a small turnout, mostly UNHCR interns, but nice folks. Then some of them began discussing resumes, some trying to find work to stay in Geneva or just move into paid employment where they can. Several started discussing having to fill space with an "additional interests" section, listing hobbies or talents and whether that was a good idea or not. I thought, "My, it's been a while since I've had an interest section in my CV. Huh." I agreed that writing a CV is a special craft in and of itself and mentioned having to shave certain items off after 10 years. And I was met with blank stares. And the inevitable question from one of them, "How old are you?"

Ah, children. Gather 'round and the Crypt Keeper will tell you her tales of the days of yore.

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