I am sitting in the lunchroom of my Alma Mater. Refrigerators are buzzing, a handful of workers are prepping for lunch, but otherwise, I am alone with contemplative music and the inevitable lesson plans stretching out before me.
I never planned on working here. It fell into my lap (or my inbox, if we’re being technical), and before I knew it I had this amazing opportunity to teach English to roughly 30 international students. I was excited and scared and had that typical OH-MY-GOSH feeling which seems to accompany a lot of what I do. I would say that feeling has subsided a little, after a day and a half of orientation and collaboration with other teachers. I would say that – and it would be a little true.
I don’t know quite what to think about being on this campus again. It’s in an entirely different capacity (What? I am teaching? It’s hard enough being professional during the schoolyear!), and I’m loving getting to know my co-teacher and the others who will be working with me.
[Accents are crazy, by the way. Midwesterners are so easygoing, at the least the ones I’m meeting, and they say all the city-names wrong. There’s also a South African on our teaching team, and I am finding it hard to suppress my desire to just sit back and bask in his voice.]
We had a welcome night, and I looked around at roughly 100 Asian faces and it reminded me of attending the Global Young Leadership Conference in high school (that’s where the photo’s from…of course, I was taking the picture…). That was one of the most formative experiences of my life (not least because I was sixteen in Washington, DC and New York City for the first time, and all the accompanying catastrophes occurred). That is what stretches before these students, only in a completely foreign country. I could feel their skins shivering with excitement.
It all starts Monday morning at 8:00. I will walk into the classroom with confidence (or the air of it) and a crazy hectic three weeks will begin. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to be here again – the place I learned how to read a poem without wanting to hurl the book at the wall – and I certainly never thought I’d get the chance to teach in its classrooms.
Here’s something for your listening pleasure. Loving this.