Latenight chats

Tuesday morning, 12:45am

………………….

I am sitting at a red light, on my red scooter, contemplating the cool air and my decision to stick with my shorts for the short ride home, instead of putting back on the still-damp bluejeans I had worn earlier.

A large red, lifted truck pulls up next to me on my right, and stops at the light.

I both hear and see the driver’s window going down, just before he, the driver, leans out toward me and, in a completely sound and sober yet slightly twangy voice, says to me:

“Hey(!)…”

“Hi-ii,” I reply with with an extended double syllable.

“The other day,” he continues, without missing a beat, “I was out drivin’, and I saw you out goin’ down f**in’ 59…, and I thought, ‘Shit…, she can go anywhere on that thing.’ You can just drive it everywhere, huh?”

I laugh and give him a ‘basically, yes,’ kind of reply, and tell him how it is 300ccs of power that allow me to drive so comfortably and easily on the highway.

“Did you just one day decide, ‘Okay, I’m not doin’ this anymore,’ and you switched to this so you could reduce your carbon footprint?”

Though his words somewhat shocked me, they were rather applicable to my situation…

“Haha… I mean, kind of, yeah…”

He then tells me how he has one that he rides, but it is not over 150ccs (so he can’t really go much more than, say, about 35 miles per hour on it).

Mine, by the way, can go just enough speed with me on it to time travel… I lack merely a flux capacitor… and some Plutonium, of course. πŸ˜›

The light turns to green, but no one else is around, and I am delighted both by the conversation itself, and the absurdity of it all – plus, the guy is clearly sane and sweet, and paying a compliment while being genuinely curious – he wanted to know how it was even possible, since his scooter wobbles even when big four-doors or fast two-doors pass by.

After the next cycle of the light, however, a car was pulled up behind me, so I went ahead and slowly started moving as we finished up our final exchanges and wished one another a great and safe night.

I then sped my way home in the slightly too cold for comfort air, and rushed to lock up, shower, and get to sleep, grateful for the lively experience of Southern Hospitality and connection – my day certainly has ended on a lovely note.

Now for the sleep part of my nightly plans…

Post-a-day 2019

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Third Grade

And, some nights, you begin telling your mom about various memories from third grade – a class you’ve always remembered as one of your favorites – and she ends up telling you that it is time for you to go to bed, because you have becoming a bit of a blubbering mess of surprise emotions…

I mean, I do, anyway… πŸ˜›

I had no idea how much negative emotion I had stemming out of that class…., a lot of which came from that teacher.

I’ve always loved that teacher.

Tonight, in recalling these incidents and the way they made me feel at the time, and how they somehow exploded me with tears tonight, I said to my mom that, as a teacher, I never want to make my students feel that way – embarrassed, incompetent, incapable, unworthy…, unloved.

I hadn’t ever had these particular incidents in mind, but perhaps these third grade memories have played a somewhat significant role in my open expression of love to my students.

I’m not sure a single student of mine could say honestly that he/she thinks I don’t love them – they all know that I do.

As if my actions weren’t clear enough, my constant verbal expression kind of makes it too hard to miss – but my actions, most likely would say, are already sufficient for them to experience and to know that I love them.

My mom said that it is merely part of life, and that I, therefore, necessarily will end up making a student feel that way at some point… I need merely make sure I clean up the situation immediately, whenever it does happen, whenever the student is distraught by my words or actions…

Part of me is terrified at the idea, but part of me feels like I already do a version of this.

I tell kids constantly that they are wrong or have done the wrong thing.

At the beginning of the school year, their faces look momentarily panicked, until they realize that I have clearly put no grade of them as people into my comment – I mean exactly what I have said, and only that which I have said.

In a rather short time, students don’t even flinch at my words that, traditionally, when coming from a teacher, end up embarrassing the student and making him/her feel stupid or inadequate or [insert upsetting self-identity adjective here], because they realize that I love them and that my words have nothing to do with that love dissipating – I tell the kids they have something wrong, because I love them and I want them to learn the right ways, which happens to require them to learn, too, what is wrong and how to fix it.

And they always learn how to fix it, and are praised for their success – their joy always being evident.

In short, I might make a student feel inadequate, but the feeling lasts no longer than a few seconds, before being replaced by something amazing instead.

What was missing for me in all of these memories, was the follow-up, the release of my feelings of inadequacy… the teacher left me to be embarrassed, and so I stayed that way onward and upward in school.

It kind of sucked.

However, if it, in fact, plays a reasonably large role in my expression of love toward my own students, then, perhaps, I needed the negative experiences for myself, in order to be able to love my students so well…

And, therefore, if it does end up being inevitable that I will leave students feeling the ways I felt in third grade at these incidents, perhaps it is merely so that they, in turn, can go forward in life to love even more powerfully than they can love at present.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Le jour last, part II

Today was my last day of classes in this role… it went beautifully and wonderfully.

I sang my students a very important-to-me song and blessing (ukulele accompaniment and lead vocals by yours truly), and they really got it, and it was clear they felt the love.

I felt the love from them, too.

And I felt how powerful it can be when I approach something with my heart, who I am and doing more and more every day to be who I want to be…

When almost every single freshman left class, and just had to hug me – and I don’t mean lame half-hugs, but genuine love hugs – before leaving, I really began to become present to the positive impact I have had on the lives of all of these boys.

And I am extremely grateful to God for, firstly, the capability within myself, and secondly, for be opportunity with these boys.

Thank you.

Sat baam.

Now, to sleep, because I have events and grading to do this weekend, and I just really want to sleep a while…

Post-a-day 2019

Yikes

I bit a new record tonight.

At first, it was a 9pm departure from school, due to an evening event.

Then, it was a 9:30om departure, due to working and chatting comfortably with a teacher or two (one at a time, but two of them).

Tonight, as I finished up everything for my super excited escape room style of activity for tomorrow and Friday, I saw the one guy studying away for his LSAT, and knocked on his window to give him a quick hello and chat (he always likes having a forced pause in his studying).

We talked for our approximately average amount of time, and then each went home.

And that was at 10:30pm… crazy.

It is now past midnight, and I can barely function and barely keep my eyes open enough even to read what I am typing…

Anyway, night-night!

Rockin’ it

Tonight, I went to another art exhibit.

And alone, too.

Yes, I ended up meeting friends there, however, I was going in the first place, whether they accepted the belated invitation or not…

And it was wonderful.

I loved the art, I had fun with the friends, I felt myself, and I felt totally loved, and for being just that (myself, I mean).

And I didn’t even think about this as being an improvement on who I am being in life until after the fact, upon further, late-night reflection…

It was wonderful.

It has only taken me years, but I am finally beginning to embrace and to take advantage of the wonderful arts scene found in Houston.

I am finally going to museums somewhat regularly, and am even going on my own, at times, now.

And I love it.

And I love myself for it, too.

I love being myself, the self I have always had inside, the one who wants to be a museum/goer, who can be found on her own at a museum, contemplating this or that piece with curiosity.

It’s really cool, y’all… really cool.

Post-a-day 2019

Oopsie

Today, at the beginning of one of my classes, my students had an oral quiz.

For oral quizzes, they always have to call the same phone number, which is a Google Voice number I chose years ago for this express purpose.

These students had used the Google Voice number before, and most of them just have it saved in their phones, since we use it every time.

A few students, however, did not have it saved today, and so asked for me to write the number on the board.

Okay, sure.

I think about it for a minute, and then write out the number, somewhat confidently and totally surprised – I always have to look it up constantly at the beginning of the school year, and I hadn’t realized that I had re-memorized it again already…, but go, me!

Within thirty seconds, a few students are telling me something…

‘Is that number right?’

‘I think so,’ I reply, ‘but I can check.’

And so I pull out my own phone to go log in and check the number, which is what I usually do in the first place, so it’s no biggie to me.

‘I don’t think that’s the right number,’ others tell me, a sense of assuredness in their voices.

‘Oh, really…?’ I consider…

Suddenly, it hits me: “Oh!… That’s my best friend’s number!” I declare, quickly erasing the number from the board.

Laughing, I put up the correct number, and I marvel at how similar the two are – extremely similar, with just the middle numbers swapped with the end ones.

I shake my head, and I wonder if anyone had already been in the process of leaving a message….!oops

Guess it would be good to give her a heads up… or, perhaps, it would be more fun to leave her with a voicemail of someone praying in French… πŸ˜›

After all, that’s what friends are for, right? πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2019

Nostalgia, an early onset

I finish this teaching assignment on Friday.

And I’m already super nostalgic… and I mean super

I keep wanting to plan something amazing and sentimental to send myself off…

And I kind of feel silly for wanting to do that – it isn’t actually that big of a deal… so I keep telling myself.

I think what I’m aiming to figure out here is how truly it is or is not a big deal.

I’ve never been so myself as a teacher, and so, perhaps, I have never been so willing to be vulnerable as I have been with these guys… perhaps this is te closest I’ve ever been with students, and the best I’ve ever been as a teacher…, and so, perhaps, it actually is a big deal.

However, if I am off to be my best self the rest of my life, then this is merely the first of many fabulous situations in which I get to be my true self and allow the students to do the same, and we all love each other and get to be super sentimental all we want, any and all the time.

Nonetheless, I keep wanting to play guitar or ukulele and sing a song to and/or with them as a final goodbye.

I don’t have any French songs that come to mind yet, though… jut a bunch of honest and sentimental songs in English… and even a Spanish one, kind of.

Maybe a German song is actually the way to go… perhaps that would be best, simply because German is more my God-love language than any of the others… and that is good for them, even though it isn’t French, because 1) God and 2) still a foreign language…

Hmm…

Let me think on it…

Maybe I’ll just do the birthday song I always do… I love using it for birthdays especially, but it can apply to any day – the Lord gave you life today when you awakened, just as much as He did on the day of your birth… hmm…

I’ll reflect some more, and trust that God will give me exactly what to do. πŸ™‚

But I seriously am already nostalgic, and it hasn’t even ended yet… I shake my head at how silly this is, yet that changes nothing – I am still nostalgic for it all.

Post-a-day 2019