Love you long time…

Waiting on an unknown kid to return the borrowed keys that now need to open a door for me, I chitchat with the coach whose keys they are.

I turn as a kid enters, see that he is beginning to hand the mass of keys back to the coach, and I say, somewhat smirking-smiling, “You’re the one I’m waiting on for these keys?”

It is one of my students.

He hands the keys over while I am saying this, and he gives me an affirmative answer, along with a small chuckle and a reasonably large smile.

Just as he is beginning to show his pearly whites and adorable little grin, I notice that he is about to run into me… no, that isn’t it,… without any pretext, he has simply stepped toward me, arms outstretched and he now hugs me, sweetly, while telling me that he misses me.

(Remember that my teaching ended last week, and this was my first day not being their teacher anymore.)

“You wouldn’t have even had class with me today,” (they have a sort of rotating schedule), “so you haven’t even had time to start missing me.”

“I know, but I still miss you.”

I love being in the classroom with kids, but I also really love being in this kind of relationship with them, where they speak comfortably yet still entirely respectfully to me, and interactions are more like real life, and less like a staged hierarchy of nonsense rules of society and propriety (mostly totally due to arbitrary age decisions).

I love kids.

And I love offering what I have to share that can help them move forward on their respective paths to glorious adulthood and making a beautiful difference in this beautiful world.

Yep… And I also love hugs…

Post-a-day 2019

A foreigner at home?

Have you ever felt out of place within your own culture?  As time passes, it happens to me more and more often.  Last night, I attended an event with coworkers.  The noise volume took me by slight surprise when I first arrived.  How can people be this loud? I thought.  And then I remembered almost before I finished asking the question: They’re americans (from the USA).

But I’m american from the US, too.  Wouldn’t I be used to this, then?

I quickly compared it to a drinking party at an izakaya (like a bar) with nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) in Japan.  Yes, the Japanese can get quite loud there.  It was never to the point of wanting to cover my ears, though, I hear myself thinking.  So, I am very much accustomed to a much quieter environment for parties, then.  I’m not just being a bit dramatic and overly sensitive to normal behavior and a normal situation.

Even still… I felt so oddly out of place, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with myself.  I ended up semi-hiding in the coatroom (it wasn’t a closet, but an actual room, I promise) to take a breather from all the people and the noise from time to time.  I also took extra-long any time I went to the bathroom, because it was cozy and quiet in there on my own. Yes, I could have just gone home.  However, I rarely spend time even around people who aren’t high schoolers right now, so I felt it was somewhat necessary – even if just for social practice – to spend time around adults, especially happy ones in a good, safe environment.

I definitely adjusted after a bit, but I still felt quite out of place for most of the event.  I guess I’m just not so USA american anymore… which doesn’t surprise me, really.  It’s just odd, not belonging in a place everyone calls my “home”.

Post-a-day 2017