Monday, December 05, 2005

The happiest day of your life?

While teaching superlatives today (ya know, the biggest, the smallest, the happiest), I happened to ask students about the happiest day of their lives. These people are computer nerds who don't really want to learn English but are forced to take some language classes to fulfill requirements by the school. The most (another superlative) I can get them talking is when it's about computer games, something I don't know squat about. You can imagine what the silence in that room in the mountains sounded like with the "What was the happiest day in your life" question. I've started enjoying the uncomfortable silences that happen in class from time to time. It makes me think how I'm getting paid for listening to silence, not something many people can say. It's difficult to encourage people who are unencourageable. Sure, sure, you try it a few times but after you realize that they are not going to have a normal conversation with you about anything, you just stick to the script. At this school we are given photocopied (read: plagiarized) scripts with grammar and subject-focus stuff, like today we learned about Bluetooth, a network link that solves the problems of connectivity (don't ask!) and in the other class about computing for disabled people. One of the students asked if it was nicer to say "people with special needs" and while I told him it was, it would be better to stick to the script. That way I can never be accused of not doing what I was told. CYA, baby! It's not as bad as this but it's good for you to see the other side of my reality as well.

Anyway, the happiest day of my life was May 5, 2002 at exactly 12pm. I know this because I was supposed to meet a girl at 12pm at the Temple of Apollo on the Greek island of Rhodos. She came. We were officially in love. We've now been together for over three and a half years. My life has taken the most radical (another superlative) turns since meeting her. I now have learned another language (German) relatively well, have a new career (English teaching and don't you laugh, MF!), and I have a relatively high standard of living for the small amount of money I make. I've learned to be more simple, to squeeze more out of the day and to enjoy simple things like going on walks and drinking beer in town while throwing the frisbee around. I have less and have accepted it and, as a result, have so much more, somehow, yanowotimesayin?

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