A Day at a Time
A Random Wednesday, 2018
4:50 AM: My nemesis begins to chime, bringing in the new day. As I am not a morning person, I immediately begin to cringe. I always set obnoxious alarms, because the peaceful ones don’t do the trick. I step out of the bed with the same labored sighs as every day. However, once showered and dressed, I walk out to the balcony to put on my shoes and the morning mountains makes the sarcasm bubble forth, “well… it’s not so bad really.” I pop in the headphones and choose today’s playlist: Funky Soul Delicious. Well-crafted for the toe-tapping bus ride.
6:40 AM: I step off the bus near my first class. The sun is beaming rays of golden heat to melt away the rest of my sluggish start. My hair catches in the breeze over the bridge, soft like a lover’s caress. I finish my walk with a smile and a wait patiently for my student to come and take me to the offices. She and I always exchange our pleasantries and discuss our weekend. We take the elevator up to the office and she lets me into our classroom. She goes to gather her things and returns with the final part of my morning medicine: coffee. She no longer asks. She knows the answer. Class has us both laughing and the time flies like it is moving at double-tempo.
9:30 AM: The office is warm as I enter, but the AC kicks on and feels nice. I bring with me my daily dose of Tico Wheaties: gallo pinto. Time for some class prep, more coffee, emails, catching up on the news and some fraternizing with the other teachers and administration. There always seems to be something to discuss that inevitably gets the whole gang laughing. We joke on one another. It is fun.
11:00 AM: A brief walk through the beautiful park across the street from the office. Headphones returned to keep the soundtrack pulsing. This bus ride is my favorite. Not for any particular reason other than the freedom to allow my thoughts to take over. I do most of my self-reflection on buses. It seems to work well since there are plenty of buses in this country. My mind wandering through the rest of the day, I dwell upon the mysteries of the universe. Well, sometimes I just wonder about my next meal. Either way, it sets me up for the rest of my day.
11:40 AM: I arrive at the giant offices where again I wait for a student to escort me to our room. This class is always such fun. The students love to debate and get into friendly arguments. One of their preferred lines, “in my humble opinion…” prefaces some not-so-humble statements. I laugh every time I hear this phrase. An odd sense of comfort overwhelms this group as we have been together for a long time. Again, all feelings lift when I spend time with the students. I love this job.
2:40 PM: After a brief lunch, I return to the office with a full stomach and renewed need for coffee. I think this company knows that without coffee, we would never get anything done. So, it is available the entire time the office is open. More jokes are enjoyed by the staff. Sometimes it is high-fives and hugs. We really help each other with the day by day procedures. It does feel like a family, with less arguing.
3:00 PM: I wait for the bus to my final class. More reflections of the day and now, being Wednesday, also some thoughts about the weekend. Will it be a socializing weekend or a Netflix binge? Hard to tell at most times. On the bus, the afternoon heat and clouds begin to dull my senses and I do the awkward sleeping-not-sleeping head bob. As I approach my stop, I begin to perk back up. This is my favorite class after all. (I know. We are not supposed to have favorites. But we all do. Truth.) This afternoon I will be teaching at one of the colegios (high-schools). This scholarship program is incredible and gives such amazing opportunities for these youths. I get off the bus and walk along with my chicken friends, greet the cows, and make my way into the school. I am met by the most genial of security guards. The students welcome me also with our own created handshakes. It makes me so happy. These students are all unbelievably wonderful, even when they are having bad days. We have great interactions, that both my supervisor and I call ‘guided chaos.’ I love teaching these kids and I love the energy they make me exert. It keeps me younger. I think.
7:00 PM: I finally return to my apartment. Exhausted? Yes. Sore feet? Yes. Feeling of completion? Most definitely. I cook a simple dinner, chat with my roommate, and she goes off to sleep. She acts like an old lady with her sleep. It is actually impressive. I stay awake for a few more hours, check emails, look over material, and scroll the social media. Eventually my eyes are no longer wanting to be open, so I brush my teeth and lay down with the satisfaction and gratitude I have felt in no other occupation. Today was a good day.