Real Conversations with Real People: The Real Lack of Attendance

By: Alley Keresztesy

Since its debut last spring in the Writing Center, the ‘Real Conversations with Real People’ lunch talk series had been a hit. Every Thursday at 12:30, students would start streaming into the Writing Center to grab pizza or sandwiches from the overflowing trays brought up from the kitchen, the small room seeming to expand with the entrance of each new body yearning to hear the words of wisdom offered from varying faculty and staff. Every available space was filled; the couches and floor at maximum capacity, chairs holding people on every surface. From duos like Gressel and Geaghan to Christ and Purpura, the Writing Center was guaranteed to be a full house every week. Each week brought new topics, lessons, and ideas, and still does. The speakers don’t just talk to each other, they talk to you. In the Writing Center from 1-1:30, those we call teachers are revealed to be real, normal humans with stories, lessons, and memories to share with us.

However, things changed this year. Wednesday nights are no longer met with a school-wide email from Parsons to pump you up for the next days’ speakers. Thursdays are somewhat forgotten, only a few die-hard fans (aka McKenna Ritter and me) returning weekly. Attendance has gone down dramatically since the beginning of this year, when things were ‘normal’ by last springs’ standards. Now, a maximum of twelve people, teachers included, arrive to be enlightened. The chairs and couches hold some people, although nowhere near filled. It’s hard to say why, all of a sudden, Real Conversations has been forgotten. Certainly it’s not because of who the guests are, mostly because no one knows who is speaking until they walk into the room. The emails from Parsons are definitely missed. It’s disappointing to see how few people make it every week, especially considering how popular it once was. So, I encourage all of you to come next Thursday, during lunch to the Writing Center and experience what it’s like to have a Real Conversation.