Hospitality

13 12 2004

“Alma Mater” is Latin for Cherished Mother.

You’d think your “mother” would remember important things about you, like what you majored in. But Stephen F. Austin State University, my alma mater, is a little confused.

It all started about ten years ago with a phone call. An SFA student–no doubt just trying to make a few extra bucks working for the alumni association–called requesting a donation to the annual fund. In a perky voice she assured me they’d direct the money to the department of my choosing.

Between us, George and I have earned degrees from six different departments at SFA. (We overlapped on two, both taking English minors and secondary teacher’s certification.) I said, “Since my husband and I both graduated from the school, I wouldn’t know which department to choose.”

“Oh, that’s okay,” she chirped. “You can divide the donation and give his part to biology and your part to hospitality.”

I wasn’t sure I’d heard her right. “Did you say ‘hospitality’?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I laughed. “Why would I want to give a donation to hospitality? Is that even a department?”

She sounded confused. “Um, I, um, . . . I’m not sure. Wasn’t that your major?”

“No. I double majored in social work and sociology.”

Silence for a few moments. “Oh. I see. Well, maybe I should ask you about the rest of the stuff on this form to see if it’s correct. Do you still teach at New Convent School?”

“New Convent?” I laughed harder. “When we lived in Virginia I taught at New Covenant School. We moved to Texas in 1992.”

“Oh, dear. This is messed up. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. This is the best solicitation call I’ve ever received.” I was still laughing. “So. Let’s see. My former university thinks I majored in hospitality and went on to teach nuns.”

She laughed, too. “Yeah. Looks that way.”

We chatted for a few more minutes trying to reshape my life’s story until it resembled reality. I didn’t pledge a donation, but we both enjoyed the conversation. I assumed she would submit the corrections on my form to the powers that be. But apparently not.

I’ve received several mailings over the past few years from the hospitality department (there really is one!), inviting me to important events or informing me about exciting news. The most recent one arrived last week. I just shake my head and throw them away. I never hear a word from sociology, social work, English, or education. My mother has forgotten me. Or confused me with one of her other kids.

Hospitality. I suppose it wouldn’t be such a bad major. Especially this time of year with all the parties and family gatherings. Maybe I missed my calling. Let’s try this. “Welcome, everyone. Please come right in and make yourselves at home. Would you like some tea? A snack? If you need anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask. Oh, what’s that? You must go already? Thanks so much for stopping by my journal. Y’all come back now. Ya hear?”


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12 responses

14 12 2004
ragamuffen

from the sweet Christmas mailing I had waiting in my *real* mail box, I would have thought you majored in Hospitality as well.

Loved it! Your family is totally adorable. I want to have a day or two living Grace’s life, wow!

xoxo

14 12 2004
ragamuffen

from the sweet Christmas mailing I had waiting in my *real* mail box, I would have thought you majored in Hospitality as well.

Loved it! Your family is totally adorable. I want to have a day or two living Grace’s life, wow!

xoxo

14 12 2004
cmortmain

Yes!

Great Christmas card, as always.

Thank you!

14 12 2004
cmortmain

Yes!

Great Christmas card, as always.

Thank you!

14 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I know what you mean about Grace’s life. Tell you what. Meet me this afternoon at a sidewalk cafe in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. 3:32 PM. We’ll have our own adventures — even if they exist only in our imaginations.

♥ EZ

14 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I know what you mean about Grace’s life. Tell you what. Meet me this afternoon at a sidewalk cafe in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. 3:32 PM. We’ll have our own adventures — even if they exist only in our imaginations.

♥ EZ

14 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Re: Yes!

Glad you liked it! Have a wonderful Christmas.

14 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Re: Yes!

Glad you liked it! Have a wonderful Christmas.

15 12 2004
emma_furlong

hospitalilty et al

Hospitality in Italian is ospitalita, I just thought I’d throw that. What is it about the Italian language that is so exciting?!! Social Workers in Australia are very much into socializing, we love long lunches and wine goes well at time also. So what I’m trying to ramble on about is that maybe you are a bit of a ospitalita sort of person.
Sometimes I think my Mum didnt know who I was, she called me by my brother’s name then the dog and when that didnt work I got my name. Ah Well.
Have a buona natale
Emma

15 12 2004
emma_furlong

hospitalilty et al

Hospitality in Italian is ospitalita, I just thought I’d throw that. What is it about the Italian language that is so exciting?!! Social Workers in Australia are very much into socializing, we love long lunches and wine goes well at time also. So what I’m trying to ramble on about is that maybe you are a bit of a ospitalita sort of person.
Sometimes I think my Mum didnt know who I was, she called me by my brother’s name then the dog and when that didnt work I got my name. Ah Well.
Have a buona natale
Emma

16 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Re: hospitalilty et al

Ospitalita. That sounds nice.

The real question is did your mum ever call the dog by your name? ;o)

16 12 2004
jeannedamoff

Re: hospitalilty et al

Ospitalita. That sounds nice.

The real question is did your mum ever call the dog by your name? ;o)

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