Favorite conversation with a kid today:
[Preface: L., a friend originally from the Ukraine, is a sophomore at Aragon. We've known each other through the tutoring program for the past year or so, and a couple months ago she made me a CD of her favorite Russian songs. Pretty rad.]
"So L., are you going to go to camp this summer with me or what?!"
"Well, I don't know."
"Well, why not?"
"Well," [there are apparently a lot of "wells" in this conversation], "I'm just a bit of a...mmmm...how would you say it? ...a home girl."
"You know, I'm like a cat that stays close to the house. A house cat. That's what I am: a home girl."
ohhhhhhhhh. I was laughing so hard at this point, though trying to laugh "with" her, and not at her. :) I always thought homegirl was more, you know, of the ghetto. And homeBODY was the type that stays at home. But hey, to each second language English learner, her own.
Next best conversation with V., a senior Chinese student:
"Life is just really hard right now."
"Why is it hard?"
"Well ... I just think there must be something more out there. Like for instance, my family doesn't practice a religion, and I don't necessarily think that there's an afterlife, that I'm going to go somewhere after I die, but what if there is? What if there is a higher being, or another place?"
My eyes were BULGING out of my head at this point. I'd never talked to this girl before today, and here she was just pouring out her heart. We talked about the end of childhood soon encroaching upon her, and how she doesn't want to have to act grown-up, even though she's supposed to, according to societal norms and her own cultural standards. We talked about not worrying about the future, and about the plans that her family has laid out for her. We talked about exploring whether there is a God or not.
It was an incredible conversation in the middle of the high school library.
I love what I do for a living.
Thank you for supporting me in this journey, friends and family, near and far.