Today I'm at some software training, learning a new tool. I've never been to this particular training facility, but it's much like ones I've both taught at, and been a student at before. There's a big room with a whiteboard, a projector, and a warm, engaging instructor.
The instructor is part stand-up comedian, and part teacher. She's got a "patter" of jokes, funny examples, and ways she rouses the class to get them interested in the material, and engaged with her.
This is very familiar. I used to be a technical instructor a while back, and I recognize all the techniques. I have used them, and continue to use them myself. Sometimes I'm amused when I realize I do some of these same things on the Big Little Podcast. (For example, first you tell someone what you're going to tell them, then you tell it to them, then you tell them that you just told them. It helps people who learn at different paces, and with different styles to be able to connect with what you're saying. Some people need a second pass over the same stuff to get it from short term to long term memory.)
I was super pleased to find out when we broke for lunch that there was this italian restaurant I love, Vapiano in the neighborhood. I used to work near the Vapiano in Chinatown, and I would go there for this one particular salad, with double-shrimp on it, at least once a week. It's been over a year since I worked there, three jobs ago, and I miss that salad.
So I got it today. I've never been to this particular location, which is subtly different from, yet also similar to the one I went to all the time. I find the weird pattern repetition of mixing old and new kind of endearing, and somewhat meaningful.
Things do always change. But even in the midst of new experiences, we have the memories of our old ones to compare them to, and use. I love that this sort of training, and this sort of salad, are old friends and new companions too.