What Do You Mean “In The Countryside”? Continued
My last post was about how I received the news of my appointment somewhere I’d never heard of. Today, I’ll continue telling my story.
So, after the little conversation I had with myself (see the previous post), I thought I needed to get packed and go see how the place really looked like.
To cut a long story short, the place wasn’t a city but it wasn’t a remote area, either. I made sure it had all the basic needs; food, electricity, water and internet. This relieved me a bit. However, I noticed something that made me so nervous that I had to make an effort to conceal my feeling. I noticed that nearly everybody in the village was checking me out as if I were a UFO! I didn’t like that feeling at all. Who would?! A line from Metallica’s “Turn The Page” -originally sung by Bob Seger- jumped into my head. It says:
And you feel the eyes upon you. As you‘re shakin’ off the cold. You pretend it doesn’t bother you. But you just want to explode…
So, I tried to go on pretending everything was alright even though I got uncomfortable with everybody’s eyes on me. Therefore, I just kept on walking in the summer’s scorching and smothering heat. I walked for a few minutes, then, a 15 year old boy appeared out of nowhere, I asked him what he wanted and he said that I looked stranger and that he wanted to help. I gently thanked him for his offer and I asked him about the school. I learnt he was a student there and that he’d take me to “my” school. I thanked him and followed his steps.
“There it is” The boy announced.
“Oh yeah, I see!” I briefly and almost unconsciously responded. My mind was busy scanning the area and making as many mental images of the school as possible!
The school looked so huge from the outside. From the inside, however, I noticed it had only two blocks built, whereas, they were working on a new block. What remains of the school was kept for the yard and for sports.
Later, I got to meet one of the veteran teachers there. He was a nice guy. He welcomed me, got me a drink and told me I’d really like it there. I asked him about the students’ level and he said it was “average”, then I asked about their behavior, ten he laughed and said that I had nothing to worry about. He also added that I could depend on him in emergencies. This sounded nice to me. I thanked him a lot and left with thousands of questions still lingering in my head.
It was the beginning of the year already, and I saw some students in the school yard as I was I heading out, I heard someone murmuring: “I think this is our new English teacher”, I turned and walked towards them, they looked kind of shocked. I could tell they were afraid I might yell at them, but I just shook hands with them and confirmed their thought, then walked away.
I thought of the students on m way back. I noticed they were older than what one would expect, but still, I thought I’d have more success with older boys and girls than with younger ones. As for the school, I didn’t know what to think of it yet. Nonetheless, I knew I was motivated despite of everything. I knew I was really willing to give the best of me, and offer those kids new and different opportunities to learn, and new perspectives so that they would look at the world differently.
So, here I got to dragging myself into believing that being in a countryside would help me shape a better and stronger personality and would help me progress as a teacher since I imagined I’d deal with situations that are unique to the countryside that people in big cities would never experience.
I thought of my dreams and frustrations. I thought of my family and my future. I thought of the things I would no longer be able to do. I thought of all that and decided I had to postpone things, that I didn’t decide anything and that I had to be patient fo my dreams to come true.
Therefore, I had to “Turn The Page” on getting a higher degree, being in a nice city and all the commodities of living in a city have gone away. However, I chose to be positive and thanked God that transportation was available in my new place. I decided to postpone some dreams and HAD to look for new ones.
First lesson: I learnt I was flexible.