I have had an inspiring 24 hours.
Though brief, it was great to finally talk to my mom and dad on skype. I had to cut the conversation a little short to attend the retirement of 3 teachers at my school. I do not know any of the retiree’s well, but one of them stood out to me last night. I’ll call him Mr. B. As they showed a slideshow of his teaching experiences over his 46 years of teaching (46 years!!!!), I began to understand a fraction of his impact. He has been teaching for the Department of Defense overseas for 44 of those years. Many of his colleagues got up and talked about Mr. B and how he not only impacted his students, but also how he had influenced them personally. I know that it was a retirement party and everything is supposed to be feel good and all, but it genuinely seemed like he would be leaving a huge hole in the hearts of everyone at LMS.
As fate would have it, his son is in town for about a week and was looking to go out last night after the party. Colin and I just happened to be so willing to accompany the guyJ. So we go out and have some drinks and experience the stimulating club life that is an “on-base club”= lots of guys with shaved heads oogling over the two women in the place (who are probably married anyways). It was a good time none the less.
This morning I woke up in the billeting that Mr. B and his son were staying in across the street. Mr. B took his son home and was then going to return Colin and me to our dorm on RAF Feltwell. Little did I know I was about to be inspired. Mr. B took Colin and me to a breakfast buffet before taking us home. We got the chance to soak up this wonderful man’s personality for about 2 hours over breakfast and coffee. I do not think that Colin was as affected by this man as I was, but I was truly captivated. He is one of the good ol boys. The type of man, the type of generation that is now getting quite old and being overtaken by their more tech-savvy grandchildren. The type of man who is content to shoot the breeze all day with old (or new) friends over coffee. Perhaps I was so intrigued by him because of his laugh. He laughs like my grandpa Wicks used to. The type of laugh that gets increasingly high pitched and usually creeps in before he can even finish his sentence. This man speaks from his heart, and you can tell. He looks you in the eye, has great things to say, talks about the positive things in life, and makes you feel like he is always letting you in on a little secret. You can tell he has been through a lot in life by the wrinkles on his face. He gave me more advice on teaching, scratch that, more advice on life than I could have expected in a 2 hour conversation. I cannot think of a better opportunity for a new teacher, the day before he starts his student teaching, than to sit down and have a nice breakfast with a man of over 45 years in the system. I hope that I could grow to have half the impact and be half the person of this individual. Thank you Mr. B, enjoy your retirement.
After breakfast Colin’s cooperating teacher took us to a nearby town called Ely (pronounced eel-e). It is a great small city that is very representative of this part of England. Old brick buildings with moss growing all over them, a brown river running directly through the middle of town, quaint little restaurants and pubs, and an enormous cathedral. The Ely Cathedral is over 900 years old. I tried to take pictures, but the clouds of the day cut off any light coming through the stained glass. It was by far the largest Cathedral I have been in (at least larger than any of the one’s that I went to in South America). It was a great afternoon.
Anyway, tomorrow is my first day of student teaching! Aren’t you excited for me? I think I will be doing mostly observing this week, but I am really excited. I can’t wait to make the class my own and put some of my expensive education to work! Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.
kale is back
3 years ago