My external computer keyboard keeps deleting everything, even after I save a draft.




To re-cap:  I am about to start the third of five weeks teaching in Explore at UBC and I LOVE  IT.  Oh sure, the Quebecois 20 year old women intimidated the heck out of me at first, all that potential for sitting the back and scoffing.  Turns out not.  Turns out the one I thought would be the biggest scoffer, M, has a rosary tattoo on her leg and a pretty good attitude.

The Quebecois seem to love my humour (or are generally shocked by it) and we have fun.  Exhausting these people, but awesome.  Sometimes there are oranges in the staff room.

Sometimes not.

I am also teaching a lovely group at Langara on Wed. evenings – Business English type thing.  Lovely folks who get a tired me which I try to hide by not falling asleep.

Saturday mornings I just started teaching some Bodhi non-Buddhist Chinese meditators.  Calm folks.  Like uber calm.  They spend most of their time at their meditation centre.  I haven’t seen such evangelical fervour since I was in, well, the evangelical church.  Come to our centre, they kept suggesting.  Uh, uh, I said.  I’m kind of hungry, I said.  They gave me a Kit Kat and some Ritz crackers.

Turns out they are all mostly and almost native speakers and their expectations are different than what I can really provide.  One fellow taught linguistics at SFU for goodness sakes.  Noam Chomsky! I kept saying.  Universal Grammar!  Don’t believe in it, he said.  And there is an actual native speaker in the group.  I think we worked out what we will do since I uber explained that I am an ESL teacher, not a teacher who teaches people to teach, which is what they really want.

Thank you so much for teaching us and spending your Saturday morning here, they said at the end.  Well, they do pay me, I said.

Lovely.  Demanding but lovely folks.  We laughed.  They noticed my benign essential tremor.

“Not cause I’m nervous,” I said.

“We don’t judge,” they said.

Whoa, I said.

Oh the peace of the peaceful.  They even talk in peaceful tones.  Slowly, relaxed, gentle.

Take me to your leader.

He is in China but he visits.

Speaking of fainting, I started to feel quite unwell on Saturday afternoon.  I note that I often get sick during the third week of Explore and I have gone from zero teaching to uber teaching.  Sore throat, bit of a fever, weak, that kind of thing.

I go to my art therapist G. anyway for my appointment.  I can’t be passing up 75 minutes of someone building me up I mean really.

Got there, felt faint, freaked the heck out.

Lie on the couch, she suggested.

That was good.

I can’t believe I am feeling faint and freaking out at art therapy I said.

Sorry, I said repeatedly.

No need, she said.

We talked.

I don’t think it helps for you to be so aggressively angry at yourself for not feeling well, she said.

Oh, I said, probably not.

Yeah, not.




Sometimes insights burst through my brain, fainty and all.

I was calmer when I left although still vaguely mortified.  When I was a kid I often felt fainty, most specifically at Christmas time in the Catholic church when we had to stand for the gospel for what felt like hours and it was hot and crowded and I didn’t take off my parka.  I would run outside, take off my parka in the -40C weather and everything would go very very white.  My sister had to drive me home which annoyed the heck out of her cause she’d have to go back.  Can’t blame her.

I’m hoping to feel better tomorrow cause I gotta work yup. You can’t really take time off during Explore and plus I wouldn’t get paid.  Luckily only a half day tomorrow.  I will go armed with Tylenol and a pillow to faint upon.  I’ve had a few of these near fainting experiences lately and sigh.

Art therapist G. mentioned that her grandfather had been a Christian Scientist.  This was both distracting and fascinating.  I’ve read up on it a bit and even once managed to talk to, er harass a Christian Scientist.  I remember her teeth were really really crooked and unkempt.  Do y’all go to the dentist I asked.  Some of us, she said.  Oh, I said.  Oddly, the Christian Science Monitor is a good piece of journalism.

Oooh, feeling kinda crummy- you know how you get waves of it.  It’s a bit too hot to sleep though.

Viva Explore!



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