As Mika and Lara were missing their high school proms to be with us, the rest of our group motivated around throwing them our own prom during one of our last nights in Ladakh. With homemade corsages, decorations, and fruit punch, we danced through iPod playlists, making sure to include the occasional slow song just to be official. I pretended to be the proctor with my tie on, which was quite fun for me. It was such a great time, and again showed me how these 5 can take a simple idea and make it rich with their affection for and comfort with each other.
As the dance ended, we shared a few words, and I'd like to share mine with you.
I shared that as a teacher, an educator, this semester has been such a gift. It reminds me of how I really connected with one teacher in particular during high school. He really engaged me, made me think about what we were studying, and also about my own life. It felt like the learning was going both ways, like he was also thinking about and wrestling with the ideas as we worked our way through U.S. History. As time went on, he stayed in my life, as a mentor, and then a friend, and more recently as a colleague...and over the ten years or so that I've known him, I've sometimes wondered how he can go so deep with his students, only to have his classroom emptied and filled with new faces each year.
I don't know where my connections with these current students will go, though I think and hope that they'll continue and grow. What I do know is that we've shared something quite special as a group, and that feels amazing as a teacher and mentor. I hope the experience has something in common with what I described above. It feels like that to me.
OK, now that I've been serious, let me now say that I'm sitting here all alone at an internet shop as the rest of the group is having a salon experience. I don't really know exactly what that means, but I'm expecting some students' and maybe Tracy's hair to be a bit shorter, nails to be smooth and colored, eyebrows to be neatly shaped...stuff like that. The tricky part is when they have their nails done in that clear or minutely colored style, and I think it's supposed to just look nice, but not like there's anything done to them...then I don't know whether I'm supposed to offer a compliment, or pretend like it's so natural looking that I didn't notice. Guys have it so hard!
And then I must wonder what would happen if we had 5 male students along with Tracy and me. Would we be going to lift weights or watch rikshaw engines being fixed while Tracy checked her email? I think not, as she was just talking about doing arm exercises earlier today, and has also recently mentioned her immobile, but much loved car back home. Jokes aside, though, it's been wonderful traveling, learning, and laughing with these 6 women.
Time to go see the results...