For the past few months, I was preoccupied with so many twist and turns in my life and my thoughts are clouded with many premature plans, and grown-up errands that I cannot pinpoint what exactly makes me happy. I cannot even think of happiness in its simplest form.
I just try to look back which month I was happy or at least a month that I never thought of being sad.
“They like you,” the teacher said after I had an hour teaching English.
That was my first day of an ESL (English as a Second Language). My depleting funds pushed me to get a temporary job while I was finishing my MA.
I did not know what I was going to teach. I did not have enough time to prepare. Then there were three boys who were waiting for me. They looked older than me (haha!). They probably thought I was close to their age. As days went by, my group class grew bigger. Sometimes, I had ten as maximum number of students but my regular group class consisted of five students. And I had one-on-one classes on of top that. It did not really sound a part-time job.
They were Turkish students who chose to pursue college education in China and spent their vacation break in the Philippines all for the sake of studying English. My students were very polite and kind. My student would get me some tea and bread.
On my first day, one student asked: “Teacher, is this your first time teacher?”
He continued,”For a first timer, you are very good.”
I also had this one funny student who kept reminding me that I was too old and that I should get married. He was kind enough to give me a special offer: “When you reach 30 and still single, I will help you find a husband. My dad owns a jewelry shop. He has many friends.”
He made me laugh in so many ways. He said: “You… get married…. impossible but me, go to Harvard possible.”
I did enjoy my short-ESL-teaching stint because it was filled with fun and light moments in class. We were always laughing and talking. I felt a certain sense of fulfillment when I witnessed my students progressed and when they showed gratitude. I got the weirdest remarks “Teacher , you look like my grandmother because she’s short and dark.” And the winner: You look like a Bollywood actress” (haha)
Maybe in the future, I might go back to teaching. For one reason, I like the feeling of being young. I like to laugh. I like to talk. I like to smile. And it gives space for introverts like me to be with people. Maybe that’s my version of living a teenage dream – young and happy.