Teaching Other People’s Children

Ellen: I haven’t contributed for many days for a reason that just won’t wash:  I’m busy!  

So what, eh?  Who isn’t?  Well – I haven’t been busy, or at least more than occasionally busy, in such a long time that it’s a startling adjustment.  Suddenly there’s more to do in an average day than I faced in an average week in Israel. While this is more than welcome and positive, I’m disorganized and scatty.  I’m getting everything under control.  But gradually.   

I now have enough students that I need an appointment book; can’t rely on computer reminders or, God forbid, try to keep everything in my head, and the students all have very individual needs.  So more time is required for preparation.  No last minute fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants lessons.  But just as it demands more time, it also is growing more interesting for me.  Hopefully for them, too.   

Something I’ve found amusing as a childless-by-choice woman is how maternal I feel toward these students.  I catch myself cautioning them to stay warm as they carelessly shrug into their coats.  Mumble about vitamin C if one sounds sniffly.  And last night when Dagmara, a frail overworked young woman teetered in on her spike-heeled boots and sighed that she hadn’t had time to have her lunch, I regretted the predictably barren state of my refrigerator.  I’m not paid to feed these kids, nor am I paid to care about them.  But I do. 

Thus far, weather is balmy compared to what Ruth reported from Boston.  Mid-40s today and the sun’s actually shining!  Looks like it’s going to be a good day for our planned outing to the beach, where April is to officially meet Nostra, my friend Ania’s dog.  Unless they hate each other, April will be their guest while I’m in the U.S. later this month.   

Just two weeks and I’ll be in Austin?  The idea seems beyond belief.  Well, rapid and dully factual as this was, I’ve got to go.  Student alert. 

(Copyright 2007 by Ellen Dlott)

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