Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Merry Christmas to me (or, being corny: The Four Christmas Gifts)

In an earlier entry, I think I promised to stop bragging about working at Oxford school. Fair warning, I’m about to reneg on that promise, but I think I have ample justification. Judge for yourself.

Today was the last meeting of my elementary-level class. It was a small class, only four students today; from the four of them I received four wonderful gifts (and maybe this will get cheesy, but too bad). The first gift was the fact that although I felt under-prepared at the beginning of class, we ended up not even using any of the materials I had. We just talked, simple, wonderful conversation, for the full 90 minutes. I told them about my American holidays, they told me about their Hungarian ones. We explained, we shared traditions, we laughed.

The second gift(s) were the physical, touchable kind (edible as well). They gave me sweets, a candle holder, a box of chocolates, and a bottle of Tokaji that Juli informed me was actually quite nice (read: expensive). Looking over the list, it probably doesn’t seem like much, so I guess to me it really was the thought that counted.

Gift three is the humor (mostly unintentional) and kindness they used in filling out their evaluations of me. Overall, their single complaint - and only from two of them - was that I talk too fast. But I was interesting, I was funny, I was nice, I was good. Which leads to gift number four, the fact that the majority of them will be continuing in the new classes next year. Maybe I oversell it to myself, but to my mind, nothing could verify my abilities as a teacher more than the fact that the students would willingly return for more.

All right, that was cheesy. But I won’t apologize. Besides, I can have some cheese now that I have a kick-ass bottle of wine to go with.

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