Repairing and Improving, with Joy

I will have some classes to teach for the next week and a half… French classes.

I wasn’t sure how exactly I would approach it all, until this morning, that is.

In the first class of the day, it happened that two of the students had a sibling who had been taught by me during the first quarter of this school year, also for French.

After answering some of their questions regarding things like, ‘Do you really only talk to them in French?’, we entered into a natural and almost immediate discussion on whether I could do that with them, these students I have now.

We talked through the method I follow, as well as some whys for it, and every single one of them was enrolled in the idea: Yes, we want to do it, please.

It was almost shocking, but also not, when I considered how I have always loved such opportunities as a student.

Nonetheless, I was delighted.

And so we began setting up their tools, discussing barriers they are likely to meet, and preparing overall for what was going to start next class meeting.

I even gave them homework, and they were okay with it (and surprised themselves that they were okay with the specific assignments).

They left with excited nervousness in their space, and I was delighted with the whole ordeal.

Another two younger siblings were in my next class, and discussion arose – though differently than before – regarding my teaching methods, eventually reaching the point of my asking them whether they would be interested in using the method for our time together.

They, too, were unanimous in the affirmative.

The final two classes of the day were even more willing to be enrolled into the idea than the morning kids, and some even went so far as to smile really largely and to bounce and say how excited they were.

It was adorable.

… and refreshing.

I can hardly wait for next class. πŸ™‚

Note: It had seemed that having everyone on board and truly understanding the expectations and the hows were my biggest struggle in the past…, hopefully, this one day in mostly English will be the needed improvement for me… fingers crossed!! ❀

Post-a-day 2019

Friday Night Lights…?

Q: What are you doing on this fine, crisp, beautiful Friday night?

A: Sitting on the floor at home, filing my next set of aligners (for teeth, like Invisalign), contemplating life…

Truly, I am…

I had two big things today… one was a total win, and the other is something I would like to call a win, but which doesn’t quite feel like one yet…

The first, it was great(!).

It happened this morning (well, noon-ish, really) at the gym.

For the first time e-v-e-r, I took off my shirt in public.

Okay, except for the time at the topless beach in Barcelona, but that is a totally different situation…. and all the times at the onsen in Japan… again, totally different situation.

This today was during the workout at the gym, when I experienced my long-sleeve shirt to be too much in the middle of the workout… I had contemplated losing it at the same time as the gorgeous latinos were ditching their shirts early on – aka my favorite time of the workout – but was not ready for it, nor desperate enough for it.

However, on the last two of seven rounds of fast squats and burpees (as fast as was sustainable), I had hit the limit of caring about how I might come across to others and how much I wanted not to be wearing my long-sleeve shirt anymore.

I mean, I had even considered how I wanted to lose my pants/leggings, but I didn’t have shorts with me, so the shirt was kind of the only thing I was willing and able to lose without being too ridiculous, even for my own standards… I mean, this was public, not home (and we all know I go without pants at home quite often… like right now, even), so pants needed to stay on.

Anyway, I ditched the shirt, stayed present with myself and my intention of improving my efforts and performance in the workout by having removed my shirt, and I did just that: improved my performance in the workout.

And I wasn’t embarrassed when the guys encouraged me in my workout, but actually encouraged.

And it was kind of totally no big deal that I had no shirt on.

And that was wonderful and absolutely beautiful.

And, though the whole experience was new and slightly uneasy for me, I was comfortable… and that was great.

What’s more, after I had grown comfortable with this all, and the workout was finished, I did a brief evaluation in front of the bathroom mirror…, and I discovered that I not only wouldn’t have been bothered by seeing another female in my physical condition shirtless, but I would have even approved it as quality enough to show off comfortably in other settings – aka though it isn’t required for being shirtless, I look fit enough to show it off, which is a whole ‘nother win for myself today.

I was comfortable and confident enough to ditch the shirt, and I am at a fitness level that I’m even a bit proud of how I look…. I already have been proud of how hard I have been working in these past several months, but today I got to be proud specifically of how I look from all of that work… which is a wonderful little bonus to all the rest. πŸ™‚

So, that was awesome.

Now, the second thing was kind of total suck…

I was told, after practice today, that blah-blah-blah I am not allowed to coach the boys anymore… and not by any fault of my own, mind you… administrative blah-blah-blah was the declaration.

Based on many other events that have happened since… well, over the past while…, it definitely didn’t feel like that was the reason, and I definitely, for the first time in my life, could relate to the desire of throwing a flaming bag of s*** on someone’s front porch – dog, not human, because human would be just too much… eew… anyway…

Naturally, I dismissed the idea easily, for I didn’t actually want to do it, but part of me wanted to release the extreme upset caused by certain others.

You know what I mean?

Anyway, so I don’t get to coach the boys anymore – I love them dearly and I miss them already, and this was a conversation I was expecting to be having one day soon… and I am glad that it is over and done with now…

Yes, total heartbreak for me.

No, not the end of the world.

Just the end of this part of it…

And, the reason I want to call this one a win, even though it definitely doesn’t feel like it at present, is because I accept that this is a clear sign from God and the Universe that something else is coming for me… I had to be removed by shock from the place and state and situation of dis-ease – because there was just too much unease for me in that place, despite the fact that I felt so much love from the lacrosse folks – so that I would make a change in my life to develop something infinitely better in my life and with my life.

As I said to myself earlier today, I have so much to offer, and that just wasn’t the best situation for me to offer myself and my life fully – something better will arise, now that it has the space to do so.

Now that I did not have that time commitment, I have loads of time open for something else, something better… something more specifically tailored to using my skills and God-given talents to serve the world, to be God in the world around me, to let my light of God within shine and have it inspire those around me… this little light of mine has been growing, and it is starting to burn like a fiery blaze… not everyone is ready for that yet, so I must find whoever is ready for it.

And that’s what I’m contemplating tonight, as I file my teeth aligners and prepare for bed on this beautiful Friday night that everyone else seems to be out celebrating (but I have to be up really early tomorrow morning, so I can go earn some money for this insane life I seem to be leading). πŸ˜›

Anyway…

Let’s roast some marshmallows, y’all… this fire is ready.

πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

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 become 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

C’est le jour last

C’est le jour 1, celui qu’on retient

Celui qui s’efface quand tu me remplaces

Quand tu me retiens, c’est celui qui reviens(!!!)

These are the lyrics to the chorus of this song a lot of my students love. It’s called “Jour 1”, and it is sung by a French artist who uses the name Louane. She sings beautifully, and this song it fun, but I prefer her songs from the film “La Famille BΓ©lier” – Michel Sardou really does have some great songs.

Anyway, we are doing a version of escape rooms as my departing gift to my students (the quarter ends tomorrow). I spent a lot of time putting them together these past couple weeks, and I had the upper level classes today – they went beautifully. Especially the French III was particularly awesome. ::big heart

Tomorrow is the French II and I turns at the escape rooms… I am nervous.

I so far have one helper from French III for each of the classes, and then three students in French II who will be moderators for the three sections/rooms.

For a class of 25, that still makes me a bit nervous…

However, I know that four boys will be home for French II (supposedly, anyway), which drops it to 22 total, and only 19 doing the puzzles… aka about six members per section – that sounds so much better.

I have a plan for how to make it all work – fingers crossed that it goes beautifully and flawlessly, that we all have a wonderful time, and that I give the boys an appropriately love-filled goodbye (I’m singing and playing ukulele for them for a specific blessing/prayer sort of song I love.

De la force!! ❀

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

Two weeks

I have these two weeks remaining, and then my role will be different.

I actually cried today in class, due to how much I would be missing everyone – I just have come to love them so much, and it has been surprising how much that seems to be.

However, I am awaiting with gratitude and delight the new schedule I will have, as well as the opportunity I will have to pursue photography again, to work actively on my thesis, and to organize my room and visit with family out of town.

Also, today, somehow, I developed a semi-plan to take a few road trips on my lovely Vespa.

I want to learn some skillage first, so I can handle anything that may arise with it, but I definitely am looking forward to these little road trips… man, I really am… πŸ˜€

Anyway, I’m off to sleep now – can you believe I actually did some extra work tonight on a really fun activity I’m excited about doing with the kids???… yeah, neither can I… – because I am exhausted, and I am getting up again around 4am to work on myself and to get going on everything for school for the day immediately afterward.

Yippee!! (Haha…, it is exhausting, but I am managing it appropriately, and am even honored that I have the opportunity to pursue everything as I currently am.)

Post-a-day 2019