A phone full of messages.
On Christmas Day I woke up to a phone full of text messages wishing me a merry Christmas. From friends, teachers, students… just about everyone who has my phone number sent me a message. I even got a message from Olaf, who is now in Germany! Throughout the day my phone would chime with the sentiment of another thoughtful well-wisher. I did not have time (or energy) to answer them all. In fact, my phone battery died before I could get to any of them.
I did receive one phone call while I was at the internet café that morning. Susan, a lovely girl I was coaching on my Monday night Oral English sessions wanted to meet with me. She has a gift for me…
I could barely bring myself to meet with her.
I was pretty close to being Christmas’ed out. And not just Christmas’ed out. I was completely exhausted in general. I seriously needed some downtime but I had a ways to go yet. One of those ways would take me across campus to buy snacks for the freshman classes I was to hold the next day. I decided to compromise, meeting Susan on the way to the store.
Susan gifted me a and knitted scarf and a pair of earrings, along with an apple in a lovely, plaid-pattern gift box. She confessed she wasn’t sure what to get me but was determined to give me something because I was such a huge help to her with her spoken English. Although I am seriously ready for some quiet time (can’t say that enough!) I asked her to accompany me to the store. We were only gone for an hour and, looking back I am glad I spent this time with her even though I was so brain dead I struggled to come up with conversation.
I made it home in time to rest up for that evening’s party.
The School Christmas Party.
On Sunday night the students regaled a packed house with a variety show: singing, dancing, skits and poems. None were really Christmas-themed and indeed they called it the End of Year Party, but it happened on Christmas Day.
No matter how many of these shows I attend (or take part in) I am perpetually amazed at how talented these kids are! Carrie and Vanessa sang the duet that they intoned acapella at my house a few nights before (See Old Fashioned Christmas entry). Besides them, a boy with the vocal range of an angel and the mastery of a professional singer rocked the house. But one girl, dressed in traditional costume and singing of her love for the Tibetan Plateau stole the show. She had a team of backup vocalists who danced and emoted throughout the song, making it that much more real.
You should note that no adult coordinates these shows. The kids do it all themselves: soundman, show planning, even the auditions are all conducted by students. The only thing the teachers do is attend the show, front row. We get honored at the beginning, treated to snacks and warm tea throughout the performance and take the stage at the end of the show, posing for pictures. The kids are the stars of the show but we’re the ones who get treated like prima donnas.
The show was over at 9:30. I have to get to bed because I’ve got class at 8AM tomorrow morning.