Monday, October 13, 2008

And Monday Rolls Around... (Part 2)

The rest of the day was not good at all. In fact, it'll make for some great comedy if they ever make a movie about my life.

I went off to the afternoon classes with a husky voice that would have been the envy of Margaret Sullavan (don't worry if you have no idea who that is - she was a classic actress and I am apparently the only person who remembers her anymore). It actually wasn't too bad sounding - it just sounded absolutely nothing like me. My coworkers commented that I looked very miserable when I got to the office (so much for the make-up). For the first two classes, I did fine, although the kids were clearly a bit startled at the new voice coming out of my mouth. Then came E3-D.

E3-D is my largest class, and (of course!) I had another new student suddenly added to the class today. Since she's a girl, it came as a great disappointment to the boys, who do not know how to handle disappointment quietly. I raised my voice to silence the class, which launched me into a coughing fit. In the midst of the excitement, my voice decided to run away. So, I had a whisper left to teach with, and a nice, boisterous class to use it in.

To top off the "fun" in E3-D, my ink pad broke apart when the kids lined up for me to give them their stamps (it's a reward system we use at school). When I picked it up and put it back together, I wound up with purple ink all over my hands. About five minutes later, two students informed me that I now had purple ink on my face. Ni-ce. At least the kids were nice enough to let me know and not to laugh about it (at least to my face).

For the rest of the day, I had to teach English in a raspy whisper. Believe it or not, all you-know-what did not break loose. There are two things that I have learned to be true about most kids: 1. They are compassionate, and 2. They usually respond well to begging when they like the person who is begging. So, I told each class that I was sick, and that I had no voice left. I informed them that I needed their help to get through the lesson and asked them to please stay quiet so that everyone could hear me. Since the kids like me, they took pity on me and kept the volume down. I made it through the day, and then almost killed myself on the way home when the leg of my jeans got caught in my bicycle chain. Some days, it really would be best just to stay in bed.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"