Talk to someone about stuff they like.
I like stuff. I like writing, movies, music, comic books and my family. I like to talk. But rarely do I get to talk about the things really LOVE to talk about. Rarely do people want to chat about the three different characters who have been Batman's sidekick Robin, or the cultural impact that CGI movies have in the past fifteen years.
I figured that 98.9% of my conversations are of mundane things like homework, dinner, diapers and facebook.
But you know the feeling you get when you're talking about something you really care about, that excitement, that smile that's plastered all over your face, the way you ignore the bored look on the face of the person you're talking to.
We've all had that.
I walked around during my planning period and I spoke to people I normally don't talk to.
I spoke with a long term sub who up until that morning I had never spoken to. Guess what, she's awesome. I learned all sort of cools things about her and we share something in common. She's a writer too. We both talking about writing for a few minutes.
Then I found another co-worked and asked her about her flowers. She competes in flower shows. Holy Snikes! She knows a lot of about flowers. My knowledge of flowers comes down to this:
1) flowers are plants
2) they are pretty
3) They need water
4) I tend to forget to water them and I kill them.
She looked so happy talking about her flowers, how she hibernates them, where she plants them, competing, how much one seed can cost and how long it can take to get a flower to bloom (It it take up between four and seven years for some flowers). Her eyes brightened, she clapped her hands while she was talking, she loaded up pictures of her flowers that won an award. (I thought it was very pretty--- again that's about all I know about it)
After talking to her I was completely amazed. Not at just how much she knew about something I would glance down at and shrug, but I was amazed at humans in general.
Look away from the computer screen for a second and look at something in your room. Pick any object--- someone is an expert on it. Someone could tell you everything you wanted to know about how to make a pencil, how shoes are designed, or that cool TRADIS USB hub.
People are incredible. We like stuff. We learn about the stuff we like and we make it better. This computer I'm typing on is a vast improvement from the typewriter I would have written this on thirty years ago.
I'm over simplifying again, but the vast amount of knowledge we have accumulated in our individuals brains is impressive.
If you have a question, someone out there could give you an answer.
Would I do it again? Yes! Mostly because I love the way people light up when they talk about things the love. It's a visible change in their face and eyes. Humans, not just vampires, sparkle.
Time: About 30 minutes
Effort: Not much, I listened, asked questions and was interested in what she was talking about.