Today, summer holidays have officially started for me and some of my colleagues. Well, I should probably say ‘a leave of absence’ instead of holidays to make a clear distinction between what students get over the summer break and what we working people get. You know, I don’t want to goad other working people more than necessary. 😉
Anyway, now that I have some spare time on my hands, I also have a lot of time to think – about where I’ve come from and where I’m headed. In this post, I’ll start with a little bit of retrospect. I don’t want to structure it too much though. Since I don’t really believe life should and can be strictly divided into two categories – personal and professional – it will rather be a mixture of random insights.
It’s been a good year. As usual, I should humbly add. I started well because I took up yoga classes back in September. Everybody who does yoga knows it was a very clever move on my part. Actually, I believe yoga should become a compulsory part of the school curriculum. I also started jogging, which gradually won my attention over swimming, cycling and other types of exercise.
I recently said goodbye to an extraordinary group of senior students – a class I had been teaching for eight years. It was a sad but proud ‘goodbye’. On a rather bitter-sweet note, this class made me realize how little a teacher means to students. Obviously, you are there for them, ready to help, but most of the job is done by themselves. And honestly, most students stop needing you completely at some point, at least academic-wise. It’s sometimes quite frustrating, you know. But most of the time, I felt like an orchestra conductor – someone who understands how music works but is definitely not a better musician than the orchestra members themselves.
A proof that life happens in spirals came to me a few days ago, when I had a unique chance to meet a former exchange student I once had in my class for one academic year. This student, three years after leaving back to Hong Kong (which I obviously thought was for good), decided to come to the Czech Republic for a short visit. Life rocks!
One of the happiest personal moments of the past academic year was when my 11-year-son got a place at grammar school (the one I work in!). The competition was tough this year so I can’t say I wasn’t worried. Another proud moment was when my middle son started studying medicine back in October. And he’s been doing really well. But not everything is perfect. My oldest son has failed an important exam so he may well drop out of university soon – in his third year. But as my yoga teacher and John Lennon say “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
I hope I’ll have more time for blogging over the summer break. There’s a lot lurking on my mind so stay tuned. 🙂