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Saturday, February 2, 2013
Maybe I Really Am Crazy
February 2nd, 2013:
Initially I was going to copy my sister’s idea of jotting some highlights from the previous year. However, after writing for a little while I realized that my successes do not paint pretty pictures in the life of imagination as well as weddings and babies do. Stories about killing my first cockroach, eating ants and sea urchin, and successfully learning how to flush the toilet after going #2 will surely not make readers say, “Aw.”
Seven months. Seven months. Seven months. Seven months are the two words that rapidly flash in my mind when I think about the future. At month 14, the finish line was far. At month 16, the finish line was far. At month 19 the finish line was far. At month 20, the finish line is a few steps away. This is what it feels like (really similar to the thought pattern I had when I ran a marathon). When I studied abroad for 6 months I was saying, “Holy cow I am going to be away for so long, 6 months, omg…, can I do it?” Now my heart is beating fast thinking about how short of a time frame I have left. February I will see hearts. March I will see balloons and graduation, and probably tears. April and May I will see sports equipment. June and July I will see Joe and more tears. That’s it!
What’s happening now? The new sports equipment marked a new bullet point on the list of Sports Club Accomplishments. Before school and during recess students are now able to check out equipment. The empty spaces of school campus are now filled with students, some shooting hoops, some volleying in a small circle, and some spread out allowing themselves to let the Frisbee sore as far as possible. One teacher said to me, “Ma’am, it is so great because my students who were late for first period after lunch are now rushing back to school early so they can play!” One student said to me, “Ma’am I am meeting with Emmerson (the captain of the Frisbee team) after school so he can teach me a new way to throw the Frisbee.” I am positive Emmerson’s activity could be categorized as youth volunteerism. Guess that is a new bullet point too. The members of sports club are now voluntarily allotting time in their day so that they can teach others about what they have learned from sports club. My counterpart said to me, “Ma’am Gina, I really see it now, I really see the benefits of Sports Club. I am going to make sure this continues after you leave.”
I have a student named Dale (pseudonym is used). You can find him in the crowd because he is the only boy with curly hair. His hair is short enough so that you can see the curl but it does not quite curl into a ringlet. He sits with his hands freely crossed in his lap, with his eyes constantly watching whoever is talking. His presence is a bit mysterious. He is eager to learn but not aggressive. Whenever he is called on his answer includes one word only. When we are doing assignments in class he can commonly by found working strongly with another student who helps him translate his Tagalog words. Yesterday, the students had to present their work individually. The day prior they listened to a description of a place, a seashore, and they had to draw what they saw in their imagination. It was Dale’s turn. He did not appear as nervous as normal; there was even a bounce in his step as he took center stage. His drawing looked effortlessly perfect. He lived near the sea and was familiar with what it looked like. He even added his own fishing boat to the drawing (even though that was not in the given description). He spoke about his drawing with confidence and then sat down with a smirk on his faced that silently screamed, “I am so proud.” As he left class that day I applauded him for his presentation and drawing. Later on, I used thumb tacks to display it on our student output bulletin. This morning, he smiled at me like he always does but he added, “Good Morning Ma’am.” I have a feeling we might hear more from Dale in English class.
As I am writing this I can see gusts of sand whirling by outside like mini tornados. I have been searching for the best way to express what is happening in my mind right now, and I consider the weather today perfect. It appears calm to the lazy observer (an acquaintance) but to the keen observer (immediate family/ best friend) there is a lot more going on than whatever originally catches the eye. I feel calm. I am running down the home stretch in my service. I have some upcoming events that I am really excited about. But, then there are the sand storms. The bursts of, “I need to do this and this and this and this before I go,” and “Wow, this happened at home, what am I going to do when I can’t run back the Philippines?” and, “I need to do more planning NOW.” Then, another short wave of calmness sets in as I drink a beer with my best friend. Next, the leaves start to dance and another sand storm is rapidly approaching, “Did I forget to do something? Am I going to regret not doing something?” The top sensation that helps me tackle my sand storm of emotions is success. In the past 575 days, a lot has gone wrong but a lot has also gone right. Many things have challenged me and many things have come with ease. A second has made me smile and a second has made me cry. Some ideas have been hidden as deep as possible and some ideas continue to glow. I guess a calm day with a few sand tornadoes is better than a hurricane.
Currently on my list of things to do: 1) Help Mrs. Valdez get books for her own school. She and her husband are the owners of a private high school in my community. She is a student teacher at my school right now and has been secretly watching me work with the new books at our school. She finally got the courage to speak with me about how I might be able to help her and her school too. I have the e-mails sent and books should be on the boat next week! Let the magic begin. 2) I am busy getting the logistics put together for our Just Try It! Summer Sports Camp. 3) Keep trying new work-outs as I have already started to research about competing in a half iron man. Maybe I really am crazy.