Monday, April 30, 2012

Relaxing before the attack of future tasks

I am so lucky and am definitely feeling the great relief of having a 4 day weekend because of the official 3-day May holiday. 

Since I had to miss my Chinese lesson for COS conference, my tutor found some unexpected free time on Friday and I was able to make-up a 2 hour Chinese lesson on dating.  I picked up my perfect newly made black Mary Janes except that they are leather and need to be broken in.

Saturday, I spent the whole morning lesson planning/grading, but then relaxed in the afternoon by hand-writing 5 short notes to friends and finished a book.

Sunday, I was actually able to finish two knitted hats.  It has been so long since I have been able to knit.  I've got 1.5 months left and feel a need to use up my stash of yarn.

I found the most gorgeous African Wax that I want to purchase to have a sundress made.  I've been trying to find the best design for the dress and have been researching what I want- empire waist, long waist with an A-line skirt, or fitted.  I love v-necks so that is definitely in.  Send me photos of cool sundresses that could be tailor made.

My newly tailor made dress is pretty, but I fear it makes me look short and pregnant with a natural waist line belt/line that seems to accentuate the area where I carry my weight, my tummy.  Also, a v-neck instead of the round neck would have made it more hip.  The dress feels a bit dated, like something I would wear to church when I was a teenager.

Every day I went for a 45 minute run and even though I wanted to go on a 50 km bike ride on Sunday, I got a flat 10 minutes into the ride.  I then got lazy as I walked home to fix it.

Lesson Planning
I am teaching some experimental, new (for me) lesson plans using differential instruction to teach listening skills and vocabulary for the national CET4 exam creating various project areas for the students to choose from.

COS Conference
As always COS conference is a tough time, emotionally strange, the excitement of memories and of feeling the sense of accomplishment of completing one's Peace Corps service, mixed with feelings of anxiety and apprehension about the future including saying goodbye.  Plus there is the realization of an added list of paperwork and responsibilities that must be finished before one's COS date.

During an optional session reflecting on who we were, who we have become and how this PC experience will affect our futures, I realized that I can't remember who I was 6 years ago living in Seattle, an American about to go to an isolated village in Africa.  I feel like I have definitely evolved -values, thinking, reactions to situations, tolerance for things- but compared to other PCVs who seemed to easily discuss examples illustrating the shift of frustration to acceptance and understanding, I feel like my life has somehow normalized.  It is hard for me to see the before and after.  Life is just the way it is.

For example, PCVs talked about the challenges of sending packages by China Post, the senseless paperwork at our schools, the value of giving up independence and self-reliance to ask for help, accepting and listening with an openness to different ideas, the comfortableness with a different level of privacy, how multi-tasking isn't actually all that effective, learning how not to be in control, etc...

I on the other hand had nothing to say.  Crazy!  It kind of makes me afraid. 

Going off to Africa was a great unknown.  If I ever return to America, it feels like it will be an even bigger challenge than Africa because I "know" America so it doesn't seem as exciting.  In reality though,  I don't really know America anymore and will have to go through many frustrating moments before my American lifestyle feels normal.  If I can shift the belief that I know America into I don't, maybe I'll be open to the adventure of discovering the unknown American me, thus making it easier to adapt back to America?

Future Tasks
I don't even want to write about it.

It is time to get back to relaxing before the attack of future tasks.

1 comment:

M said...

haha you´re still very American though, with that task listing.... :D