Bad times have a scientific value.
These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
He says he wants to be a doctor, he is going to be a doctor, he sits crossed legged like a guru, he is a soldier who spends his time scanning the internet for musical instruments, he is wasting time, while other soldiers are in combat units risking their lives, he sits in the teachers room on the computer, and he studies biochemistry at the open university. He is taking care of himself while other soldiers his age are busy training in the field, and risking their lives, he is taking care of himself but then he helps me to print a worksheet i could not print , so i am grateful, and i also am given tips on where i could buy an electric piano so why am i not grateful ? Why am i always criticising him? He is perhaps one of the most intelligent person there, we are a large team, perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen of education?
The religious Ethiopian man explains to me how Ethiopia is one of two countries in Africa that were never colonised which has an advantage and a disadvantage , the disadvantage is the lack of ability to speak English or French and the advantage is proud people who were not enslaved to empires. I tell him how much i enjoy the Ethopian pupils . He acts as a go between the school and the parents of the pupils. I tell him how i wish the other pupils would learn from the Ethiopian pupils respect towards elderly people. I think about how emotional i became when i had learned that one of the Ethiopian pupils, a very sweet faced boy from 9th grade had the same Hebrew name as my maternal grandfather, also a sweet faced man i miss.
School has become my second home, i miss the people who are there when i am not there, the teachers, many of them learned people who work very hard, and the pupils, many of them remind me of my tendency to try to escape and their chutzpa, their tendency to do as they like unless given limits and those pupils who sit up front and listen and quietly do the work, i miss them when i am not with them because they have become the family i miss.
My older son sends me a photo from the Berlin wall…and two short films of the grey city, it is raining there and he remembers how we used to drink hot chocolate in Starbucks , and i want to cry, why , i want to know, why is loss part of growth?