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Untitled – July 26, 2005

July 26, 2005

Yesterday I left my apartment at 7:15 a.m. to head to the SeaTac Hilton to attend the first meeting of the Washington Learns Steering Committee. Governor Gregoire chairs the committee, which has an 18-month mission to review current education structures in the state of Washington and recommend new strategies afterward. This meeting is the first of many legislative meetings I will be attending with my new duties at the University of Washington.

Traffic was surprising light for a Monday morning and I arrived promptly at 8:00. I found a place to park in the parking garage and noticed all-day parking was going to be around $18. I found the stairs to the meeting, grabbed a cup of coffee, and went inside to hear some of the smartest people in Washington try to find answers to reform education.

About two hours into the meeting, I reached down to check to see if I had my wallet. In an average day, I may perform this check a 10 times, and every time I check, my wallet is safely nestled in my back pocket. I reached back to check and the only thing I felt was the smooth wool fabric of my striped suit pants. I had forgotten my wallet at home.

Normally, this would not be a problem. I have forgotten my wallet a couple of times during the school year – and the worse thing that happened, was I could not get a cup of coffee before class. Now, I had no credit cards, id, bankcard, money or anything. Moreover, I had to pay $18 just to get my car out of the garage. Furthermore, I am in SeaTac. SeaTac is barely a city and there were no cash lending places within a 10-mile walk. I called a couple of friends and floated the idea of them driving to SeaTac to drop off money so I could pay for parking. They were not thrilled, but they were willing, but they most of them could come until after five.

After thinking frantically for about 30 minutes, I remembered my friend and predecessor in my job, Carl, was coming to this meeting. I called him and asked if he would spot me some cash for parking, he said he would. I was saved. While Carl served in my position last year, he had a knack of locking himself out of his car, so much so, that he used up his AAA yearly allotment of lockouts. I hope that me forgetting my wallet does not become my version of Carl locking himself out. Maybe it is the curse of the job.

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