Thursday, June 08, 2006

Memories of Gabon

November 7, 2003

Fifteen kids from the English Club came over this afternoon to start their garden. I’m pleased with the results. They cleared my back yard, weeded the whole garden, cleaned out the rain barrel and put it under the eaves to collect water. The girls, nine of them, don’t seem too interested in gardening. Some of them came dressed to go to a nightclub. Sometimes I have very little patience for teenagers!! They obviously just came to “be seen” by the boys. I try to figure out what may be going on between who and who, but I have no idea, actually.

It’s amazing how kids use their teachers. I wouldn’t have it any other way—it is as I have wished, that they USE me! But it makes me realize how hard my teachers had to work to be as cool as they were, to be as available as they were, to be as caring as they were. I wonder if people can fully realize this without being teachers themselves. It is flattering that the kids have chosen to make their garden at my house. They know I will give my all for them. They are comfortable with me, to the degree that they can be. But they take my help for granted! Just as I took my teachers for granted, had no idea how hard they worked for me, had no concept that they might rather be doing something else. I assumed they existed to help me. But I can’t deny that it is fulfilling work. If I weren’t so lonely, everything would be in its proper place. I wouldn’t depend on the students to fill the void in my life, I wouldn’t have to be afraid to let my love show.

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