The other night, I had to go to the tech college and make up my missed welding class. If you remember, I was out of town for my Word Processing Exhibit, and so I missed my class. Since it's only a 7 week course, it was important to make up the class. When I pulled up to the welding building that night, in my bright yellow Mini Cooper, I saw a very different group of guys outside killing time until class. Oh boy, I thought, this should be interesting. Even as I walked by, I could hear snippets of conversation, and what came to my head was "Really?? You can't come up with anything more original than that??" It was a group of dudes (and I do mean dudes) and they were joking and talking trash and doing all those things that you think only 15 year olds do. Not to mention standing around smoking and looking rather unsavory. So, whatever, I walked past them and went into the weld shop and got on with my business, not giving them another thought. But half way through the make up class, we took a break, and I started noticing those guys again. And you know what? They were working hard, not joking around, and trying to do a good job with what they were working on. I mentioned it to our instructor, and he explained that these guys work all day at day jobs, and then come to class at night, which puts them home at 9:30 or 10:00 each day. So what I realized then, is that these guys were simply blowing off steam in the short break they had between class and their work day. They needed that. I can respect that and I respected them because they were such hard workers. Who knows what they thought of me!! :)
The other thing I noticed was the atmosphere of the weld shop that night. It was friendly and comfortable and I even got cornered in my booth talking to one guy. It reminded me of my college days and of spending late evenings in the design studio with the rest of my class, and there was such a feeling of camaraderie. Everybody was there, trying to accomplish the same thing, and everyone sort of helped each other get through it. We laughed and joked and told stories, and as it got later and later, you often shared your personal thoughts or stories with each other, and made long lasting friendships. That is what the weld shop reminded me of that night. I actually really enjoyed it, maybe even more than my Saturday morning group (though I came to really like those guys too!).