This morning I spent the most delightful hour with my friend, mentor, student and teacher, David J.
David was my favorite dance teacher back in my salsa dancing days. In fact, David was hugely responsible for my learning to dance salsa at all. (I had trouble with the salsa beat, among many other things...)
Not surprising is that David is strongly artistically and musically inclined, and also has an intense interest in and affinity for, languages. Ultimately, we ended up having a bit of an exchange - dance lessons for Spanish lessons.
Naturally, these are inter-connected... Spanish language and salsa dancing... One wouldn't exist without the other, pretty much. So, it was a good match.
Now, I don't tend to do these types of exchanges very much because usually one person ends up feeling like they're giving more than they're getting, but somehow David and I were able to work things out fairly and we both ended up learning quite a bit.
We became hugely empathetic to each other as learners, as we saw one another both struggle and progress (often with those two activities being simultaneous) in our quest to learn the new activity.
I haven't seen David in a few years now, but when he called me to say that he's going to Mexico for an international salsa competition next month and asked if I would be interested in a few hours of professional exchange so he could brush up on his Spanish, I accepted immediately.
I reminded him that it is impossible to become fluent in a short period of time, but that we could definitely brush up his language skills.
We had our Spanish lesson this morning. I was impressed with how much he'd remembered and had learned on his own and with other teachers all this time. (We always had an open understanding that other teachers enrich one's learning, not detract from it.)
Like me, David is an armchair philosopher. We ended up talking about things we need and want to learn while we are in 'Earth school', as in "While I'm on earth, my quest is to learn..."
The interesting thing was... even though we haven't seen each other for a few years, what we need and want to learn as human beings still remains the same... we're just a little older now… and a little further down the path.
Anyway, it was a positively delightful hour and I was happy to catch up with a teacher... who became a student... who became a friend. Next Spanish lesson… next week… the day before the plane leaves for Mexico. Olé!