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

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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

The music returns

Man…

I started playing music in the evenings last week… I found an iPod that apparently was discarded to me by my dad (as it has his business card in the case and loads of music that seems very much like it would have been his music), and charged it, plugged it into my speakers, and played it on shuffle.

It was great.

Especially the part where Christmas songs popped in on occasion.

I loved having the music playing in the background all evening, as it made my space feel so warm and welcoming and loving.

I even put on my unicorn onesie (handed down to me, not purchased) while I did a little art project, and the whole evening was super lovely and fun.

And I was on my own.

And the two of those don’t often go together for me, which made the night all the better.

So, I’ve begun playing music from the iPod somewhat often in the evenings at home, as of this past week and a half-ish.

The other day, I had a strong desire – enough so to follow through with it – to pull out my trumpet.

I’ve played occasionally with a school instrument at my various schools these past several years, but I hadn’t taken this one out of its case since, possibly, about seven years ago.

But I really loved playing around on it.

i then guitared last night, and that was lovely.

Today, a student showed me a silly video of another student of mine playing the saxophone (we were talking about music and playing instruments during class today), and I was inspired to pull out and play my saxophone tonight.

It, too, was a lovely time.

And there seems to be something almost magical in the air around music in my life right now – I feel somehow that it is returning to me because it is time for music to be a strong part of my life again (not because my interests have changed in any way).

I hear music on the horizon, and I am delighted.

Post-a-day 2019

Another day full of energy

I asked God and the World to have me do what was best today, what was perfect.

Apparently, that turned out to be waking up at 3:37am to use the bathroom, and then going back to bed, only to go ahead and get up at 3:47 and begin my day, instead of waiting for my 4:10 alarm.

Then doing a solid workout at the gym, and heading to school for the team’s morning working, and catching just about every traffic light along the way, adding a full ten+ minutes to the drive – I kept asking, What are you having me avoid by being pushed back in my time path here?

Then forgetting until it was too late to grab a student and schedule a meeting with him.

Then passing a different way in the way to my room, only to discover that we could have great breakfast in the mornings – and then to have a delicious omelette and few sips of orange juice that satisfied every nutrient need for my body post-exercise and the general morning activity of the previous four hours.

Then organizing class materials, helping someone develop a good idea into a great one while I got myself some autumn tea, grading a bunch, and then sitting down outside in the shade for twenty minutes with an old priest on my way to lunch, discussing various aspects of the workings of his community’s life, plus a bit about language and culture – I’m working on getting him to offer masses at least weekly in French (which would be a great increase from the current ‘zero ever’ frequency).

Then my being shown love by a couple students as I obtained my lunch and took it to eat.

Then happily chatting with coworkers and showing a test to the department head for approval.

Then kicking a kid out of class and partly scaring the rest of the class.

Then forgetting about the kid for most of the class period, and eventually remembering and finding him sitting outside on the floor, joining him, and having a wonderful talk with him in which he Fi-Na-Lly got it, and due to which he now intends to pause to consider before Everything he does – you see, he discovered that he just really doesn’t think at all before acting, thus resulting in some terrible behaviors.

Then being silly yet helpful with my next class, and having an oddly at-home comfy environment for class as they did their test review work, and scheduling a morning meeting to help a student.

Then perfectly running into the person I was seeking when I was only halfway to where I was going to find him – and my being slightly disappointed at the journey being cut short, as I would not be able to run into another person I sought to schedule a meeting.

Then having to pause to use the bathroom, running into some students, and finally heading out.

Then, just as I was about to pull out of the parking lot, being flagged down by the exact person I’d hoped to cross earlier, and talking for a bit and scheduling our meeting for tomorrow.

Then singing, unsure as to why, a German praise and worship song that repeats, “Ich vertraue dir…” (“I trust you…”), and laughing at myself, first for singing that song with such sudden delight, and second for the struggle that is riding a Vespa/motorcycle with an open-faced helmet while singing – better watch out for bugs…

Then having to order a new helmet… πŸ˜›

Then running a silly errand to print something and it taking a crazy amount of time, while I gladly enjoyed the presence of someone I love and rarely see.

Then sharing something wonderful with my mom.

Then finding Crown Maple Syrup (not alcohol, but syrup that was aged in the barrels after the alcohol was bottled out of them, allowing the odor to soak into the maple), and sharing the discovery with family who were delighted.

Then coming home to Sunflowers and stacks of colored paper just inside my back/side door, sitting outside on the porch for a while, cooking and eating dinner, and heading up to shower and to ready myself for bed.

Then reflecting on the day, and discovering how so much of it were things that I could have seen as bummers as they happened, but that I allowed just to be as they were, without meaning…, and how beautiful it was – without forcing anything or stressing about anything – to have all that I desired in the day to fall beautifully into place, loads better than I had initially anticipated.

Life really does go beautifully when we let go and let God… that was my high school junior retreat theme, and it was awesome then, and remains to be awesome now – it works every time. πŸ™‚

Well, I’m off to sleep, for an early morning meeting, preceded by an early morning workout, waits for me(!).

(I promise I’m still not a morning person…)

Post-a-day 2019

Sunday, fun day

I painted today.

Twice.

I really enjoyed it, and it made me want to do loads and loads more, and kind of right now.

Something about painting feels addicting – the everything about it, really – and I love it.

My mom was attending a workshop demonstration, and I went to watch and learn the technique, but there were extra spots available, so I even got to participate.

Then, I took home our leftover paint bits, and used them as the first part of the bedsheet I am painting with mixed splatterings of color for a photography backdrop.

On that note, my mom has figured out what to get to make my frame (because I did my measurements this morning) for a backdrop in my sort of pop-up photography studio.

I told her that I want to do photos either next week or the week after, so we need to kick things into gear two or three at this point, and we have.

So, she’s getting the frame stuff hopefully tomorrow.

I’ve asked the model for her schedule in general and on the desired week.

And I even made a Facebook page for my photography, in addition to the Instagram page I already have for it.

I don’t love the Facebook page yet, but it exists and it isn’t bad… shown here.

All of this has arisen out of a visit with a good friend of mine last night at the party.

It lights me up, and I had forgotten that, so I am extremely grateful to our conversations last night. ❀

(Although, I dare say I am not yet convinced of her other ideas and recommendations regarding my [non]dating life and my next steps… we’ll have to see on that one…) πŸ˜›

On a separate note, I lived a short time in a little town in southern Germany several years ago.

I was looking up someone this morning who lives there, checking out his company for which he had given me a card at one point, and which I crossed today.

Tonight, as I see the Instagram story of an old student, I see a photo that looks crazy-familiar to me… I click to see the video that is freeze-framed, and recognize the place even more still… I feel like I know not just the town but the little park area where this video is taking place…

I check, and the location is the right little city – hoorah!… I’m a genius, as we all know!

I then go check some photos of mine and – duh du-du duhhhh – it is exACTly the spot I was thinking…. I even have photos of the same buildings.

Shown here:

The video freeze-frame

My photos at the same location,
though from a slightly different angle

Isn’t that nuts?!

Super cool, though.

I love things like that happening.

I remember once talking with a pair of people who were recent visitors of Rome, and one shows the other a photo in front of Trevi Fountain, at which point the other pulls out his phone to show the same lady in the background of his photo as who was in her photo – they had been there at the same time, and had the same woman in the background of their photos from different angles.

They, of course, hadn’t known each other at the time, and so wouldn’t have noticed to greet one another, and therefore did not notice one another.

Anyway, fun stuff, right?

…….

One other thing I want to note about conversations from last night:

When discussing the whole recent conversations with a girlfriend and guy regarding physical comfort and confidence (see here), I was mentioning how the guy had said that I needed to worry less about what other people think, as part of sharing the conversation.

At this point, however, a friend across the room cut in, “Okay, wo-wo-wo-woah…. someone said You need to stop caring so much about what people think??…..”

“Mmhmm,” I start to reply, but she continues over me, addressing me and the room at large.

“Does he know you, like, at all??… I don’t think I know anyone who cares less about what other people think than Hannah…”

The other friends in the room give their agreement confidently, and we all begin popcorning smiles and laughter around the room as people give further comments and repeat what the guy had told me, amazed.

I hadn’t thought much about it, but I definitely see her point – I really don’t care much about what other people think of me.

I do care, but only so much, and that ‘so much’ is a whole lot less than the average person’s level of concern for what other people think of him/her.

For the most part, I worry only in the situations that could directly affect me, like avoiding doing something that would have my boss/superiors wanting to fire me, or something like that…. and my only other sensitive area is specifically making sure my body doesn’t come across as displaying the message, ‘Do me now, oh, baby, oh, baby.’

Because, unfortunately, that one can result in actually dangerous situations…, so as I’ve mentioned before, I care about my own safety, and therefore will care accordingly about how people perceive me…

Otherwise, though, it’s laughable how often I do things that most people would avoid for fear of what others might think.

Aka constantly…

Anyway…., goodnight fair World.

I am off to sleep for an early, early rising tomorrow.

Sweet dreams unto you.

Peace

Hannah

Post-a-day 2019

Sans wifi…

Students found out today that I have no television and no wifi (which means no Netflix) at home.

‘But what do you do at home?’ they ask, concernedly.

Well, tonight, I made this, while listening to a crazy mix of music (through my speakers) on a iPod I found that I think my dad handed down to me years ago…, possibly with a good part of the music included…

And now, I’ll go to reading as “Silver Bells” sings along gently on the speakers…

Farewell, digital world – goodnight.

Post-a-day 2019

Riding the bus with my mother

There are three lots on my block which recently have had their houses demolished.

Two of the lots are nearing the end of construction on their new houses, and the third has, so far, sat empty for a while.

Just about every morning, around 7:30, workers arrive and get to making noise on this, that, or the other part of construction for the two houses.

I have noticed a certain inattention to caution regarding trash and scraps, and so have been quite careful not ever to walk over by either of the houses, as there is an ever-changing blanket of glass, nails, wood pieces, and other sharp objects on the ground by them both.

Today, in an effort to dodge some potholes, my mother drove directly in front of these two houses…

A few hours, a free concert, and almost five hundred dollars later, she had two new rear tires on her car, out of necessity, not desire.

You see, she was picking me up to go to an opera performance, thus her being on my street in the first place.

She had dropped me off to allow me to go use the bathroom and to pick up our tickets at will-call, and gone to park her car, only to discover that the tire pressure, whose warning light had signaled on our way to the performance, was decreasing at an alarming pace, and so needed to be handled immediately.

She told me to leave her ticket at will-call for her, and that she would join me when she could, and then took her car to the one place she found open on a Sunday to handle such issues as her current tire predicament (which, fortunately, was only about a mile away from where we were).

At intermission, she joined me at our seats, her having sat at the back for the first part, due to her having arrived late.

She informed me that she had made it to the performance by asking a woman to drop her off, since it was only about a mile away from where she had had to bring her car.

We laughed at the slight absurdity of it all, and discussed how to get back to the car after the performance ended.

Yes, it was close, but the place would close only half an hour after the performance ended, and my mom wasn’t in running shoes (nor was I).

So, I offered the idea of my spare bus card.

At first, she aimed to find someone we knew after the performance ended, so as to ask for a ride.

Then, she considered Uber (but I was opposed for the cost of it, and the fact that my account isn’t set up properly anymore for here [remember how I lived in Japan]), before reconsidering just asking someone else from the performance whom we didn’t know.

We were running short on time, and I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help, when I had means to handle the situation myself – I’m always rather like that… if I can do it myself, even if it is more difficult, I typically still will handle it myself, so that I only ask for help when I truly need it.

So, I looked up the bus route options, and started walking to the bus stop, which was enough encouragement for my mom to give up her idea and go with mine.

I knew her main opposition was simply the same as most people’s in Houston – most people do not use the busses here, unless they financially have no other means of getting around, making the bulk of bus patronage poor laborers, cleaners, minimum wage people in rough situations, and homeless people…, and that can be an uncomfortable, and almost dangerous-feeling experience for those who do not belong to those groups of individuals…, and it can somewhat easily create a feeling of being somewhere dirty, at times…, so no one wants to ride the busses in Houston…, not really, anyway.

I, myself, struggle with it, despite the fact that I use the busses here… I want to promote public transit as much as possible, but I also prefer feeling safe and clean than the opposite, you know?

Nonetheless, it was our most logical option today (in my head, anyway), so we went for the bus.

Another lady coming from a similar downtown performance also joined us in waiting for the bus, and it was quite cool to me to see another ‘normal’ person, so to speak, taking the bus.

My mom, while waiting, mentioned how she had never ridden the bus here, and that she was a bit excited for it.

I smiled and was glad, and told her how it all worked, and that it was mostly just like any other public transit she had ridden elsewhere (except in Vienna, which has one of the best public transit systems ever, and in all aspects of it).

While riding, she asked about how to signal for our stop, and I explained her two options, however, another woman clicked for our stop first.

I told my mom that she could push the tape anyway, just to have the experience and to know what it’s like, pushing the tape on our busses, and she replied coolly and smiling, “I’m touching enough.”

We had seen a whole range of riders come aboard, including all of the stereotypes, smells and all, but also a few other ‘normal’-esque individuals.

Nonetheless, I understood entirely why she had no interest in touching anything more than was necessary at this point.

When we exited the bus, I rushed off in one direction on my predetermined path to the car place, while covering my gaze to the right hand side, and ignoring my mom’s questioning as to why I was going that particular direction, knowing that she would follow me because of my quick pace.

When we were walking into the driveway of the car place, I slowed and dropped my hand, turning toward my mom and informing her of how I had been avoiding any sort of interaction with the man who had been urinating in the trash can that was next to the bus stop.

No, I had not been certain of that being his task, but it looked to be enough so, and I had no interest in discovering anything further on the matter, and so I blocked it from my view, and headed off with the intention of getting away as soon as was possible.

It is funny to me a bit – perhaps ironic – that my mom has told me so much since I’ve moved back to Houston (from Japan) that I need to be careful here, and that it is not like Japan, and yet she does not herself seem to understand how to be careful when in Houston.

She asked why I hadn’t gone the other way around the block, and I, at first, didn’t understand why she was asking – was it not obvious?

And, of course, it wasn’t obvious, I realized… she had no idea the type of hangout that the area was, nor that more people tended to hang out over by that underpass all along its length, and that it was a better idea for us to avoid it altogether, always.

So, while being a bit nervous at my mother’s lack of understanding as to how to be safe in Downtown Houston, I also was consoled in my own ability to be safe here – without realizing it, I had developed my own appropriate way to keep myself safe here in Houston – that’s part of why I tend not to go out at night.

I typically ride my bicycle or scooter, or even take the bus or walk for getting around anywhere near me, and none of those is a very good idea at night…., so I usually just don’t go.

I had begun to think it was merely because of my anti-social emotional side lately, and my dislike for drunk people, but this had me recall that it is more than just an aversion for stupid people that keeps me in most nights. πŸ˜›

Anyway, my mom picked up her car and was bummed about having to spend the money, as was I, but we were grateful for the bit of time we had been able to spend letting my mom experience a Houston Metro bus, and that, at the very least, the concert itself had been free.

But this did remind me of that time we drove way up north to a special spring to get some free, natural spring sulfurous water straight from the source – the city had it posted that anyone could come have water from it, so long as the sun is up – and then drive back home an hour and a half, during which time my mom commented, “Well, that was the most expensive free water I’ve ever gotten,” referring to the gasoline cost and the tolls crossed for the journey. πŸ˜›

It’s been a bit of a joke of ours ever since then.

And so, today’s performance, one could say, was the most expensive free concert we’ve ever attended. πŸ˜›

(Actually, my mom did say that… haha… I’d forgotten that it wasn’t just something I’d thought, but that seems actually said aloud. πŸ˜‚)

Post-a-day 2019