About a week ago, my best friend and I were on the MAX riding back to Portland State. We had been in Milwaukie, and were coming back to get dinner at my place and then head to a concert that night at the Crystal Ballroom. We were excited to see Brandi Carlile live.
Sitting across from us on the MAX was a mother and two daughters. The youngest was fast asleep in her mom’s arms, but the other was busy asking questions and acting, shy as most little kids do. Eventually, she got up the courage to ask both us if we were Portland State students, since we were studying and talking about classes. We answered, and a conversation was born. The mother, my best friend and I all began talking and soon discovered that she too was a student. But more than that, she even lived in the same building as I do.
It struck me that night that we are all strangers passing each other by, and the community of Portland State is indeed wide stretching and very diverse. I think we take for granted doe faced youths as college students, and forget that we students come in all shapes and sizes and ages. So next time you are sitting on the MAX, keep in mind that maybe you are looking at your neighbor two floors down, or a future classmate. We don’t always have to be strangers on a train.