Three of the women had been my students in the past, so it was a wonderful reunion. Twice I had had to leave teaching: in 2006 when I was first diagnosed with leukemia, and then again in May 2007 when I relapsed. My return to teaching was a homecoming of sorts. It was also another milestone on my road to recovery. If I can teach in a public library, I figure I've reached a new level of wellness.
I never intended to be a teacher. I doubt I could teach children because they bring out the W.C. Fields in me. Teaching adults who are highly motivated is easy and fun. I identify with their struggle to learn a new language in adulthood, as I had when I found myself living in a Spanish-speaking country in my 40's. I also love language, and playing with it. Here are some of the quotes I put on the board last night.
- One should eat to live, not live to eat.
- I'm on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it.
- Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.
- Bigger snacks, bigger slacks.
I'm teaching again tonight, although this is only a substitute gig, not a permanent return. I've asked my class to come in prepared to share a recipe, something easy to make that's healthy. I hope they tell us how to make foods from their own countries. If there's time, I may explain how to make granola.
I like these comebacks. I crawled through part of the trip, then shuffled. But last night I stood there tall, smiling, and full of energy.