I crossed paths this morning with a colleague whom I went to grad school with and sometimes have lunch with.
He held out a hand for a shake. "Congratulations," he told me, apropos of nothing.
"For what?" I asked, puzzled.
"Oh, I don't know. There must be something worth congratulating."
"O... kay." I returned the handshake. "Congratulations to you, too, then."
"I just finished grading 40 essays," he said.
Finally, I got the idea. "And I finished another round of paper tutorials with my students," I said.
"The thing is, this time I can see improvement. It's the time of semester for that." A worthy feat for congratulation indeed.
I thought about that a second. "You know what? Me too. They are improving. This coming batch of papers is a little better than the previous ones."
The thought sent me off to my first class with a smile. A little perspective is useful sometimes.
Now playing: Able Baker Fox - October