Living Appropriately: Musings From a History Teacher in Colombia

At the beginning of the school year, the teachers at our school are all assigned to a group of students in order to act as their official advisors for the year.  We get to know them pretty well, mainly because we always sit with our advisees at lunchtime, whether we have them in class or not. Another way that the school tries to promote getting to know our advisees a little bit better on a personal level is the policy that we take them out for dinner once a semester. I have six students in my advisory group, and we had our dinner scheduled for this past Tuesday night.

The original plan was to head to a place called “Pizza Rock,” which is a popular place amongst the staff at our school but a restaurant that none of us had ever been to. However, there was one slight hangup with the plan: we had a window of an hour and a half to be gone, but one of the students was going to be at her horseback riding activity at our departure time. So I got directions from the teacher who was going to be with the students at the horse barn and we planned it out so that I would pick her up on the way to the restaurant.

Long story short, I kind of messed up with the directions on the way to the horse stable which resulted in us getting lost and not able to pick up our 6th student on the way. And what’s worse, the whole trip from the school to the restaurant was definitely the most stressful experience that I’ve had yet in Taichung. It was my first time driving a car in Taiwan, and the fact that it was a huge minivan, that I wasn’t familiar with the streets we were navigating, and that there are always a ton of scooters weaving in and out of traffic and buzzing around your car was enough in itself to put me on edge. Add to that a somewhat-dirty windshield, five 10th grade students being noisy 10th graders, and the added stress of getting lost when trying to pick up our last student and the time strain it left us under to make it back to campus in time, and…yeah, I was a bit frazzled to say the least (we had to change plans on the fly and go to a sushi restaurant that was closer to our school to make sure that we didn’t get back late for study hall). I like to think of myself as a person who usually has a fairly high tolerance for getting super-stressed out, but by the time we finally parked alongside the restaurant I could literally feel the hair on my head standing up on edge.

But I’m happy to report that it got better from there on out, though: we all had a good time at dinner, ran into a few other teachers and staff from our school who happened to be there to grab a bite too, and stuffed ourselves to the gills on some great sushi. I tried to get a bunch of random pics of the students while at dinner, but they were a little shy so we just took this shot at the end:

Dinner at Sushi Express

Dinner at Sushi Express!

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Andrew Leniton