Friday, May 05, 2006

Healthy kitty and a warm, fuzzy anecdote about G.

Tidbit #1 - Nimbus, the white cat

She’s fine. I noticed the night she wasn’t feeling well that she refused to come into my room, going instead to my housemate’s room… Very unusual… That was the same night I used a topical muscle pain reliever on my knee and leg. ! It’s kind of like A5-35, except that it is “all natural” and it’s called “024”. I sprayed this stuff all over my knee and leg right before I went to bed and I must say, it worked great. It smelled a bit of menthol and eucalyptus, but nothing that I thought was horrid.

Apparently, the cat disagreed. I later found out that eucalyptus isn’t so good for cats. My hunch was that the fumes got to her, so the next day I washed the pj’s I was wearing, and all the bed linens. The cat has been fine ever since. Who knew?

Tidbit #2 - Closure with G.

If you’ve been following the blog since last fall, you will remember the student from my Spanish class who was
struggling in Spanish, much the same way I was struggling at the gym. It broke my heart when he didn’t show up for the final exam, and I heard from other students that he’d dropped the class at the last minute.

I hoped that one day we could give things a proper closure. I figured that if it ever happened, it would probably be as a result of running into one another quite unexpectedly, taking both of us off guard, as these things often do, offering a brief window of opportunity to say what needs to be said. Today, it happened. I was coming out of the locker room at the gym and there he was.

It was an unusual place to run into him, since you tend to see the same faces around, even if you don’t know who everyone is. I’d never seen him there and as it turned out, he was just there on an errand.

“Hola!” I said, as is customary for me when I meet students outside class.

He looked at me, shocked and blurted out, “Oh my God! You look great!”

I have to say, usually I am slightly disappointed when my students can’t even muster up a reciprocal greeting in Spanish in response to “Hola!”, but, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised (and flattered) with that particular greeting today.

G. and I both started fall semester with long, curly hair (his curlier than mine). During the course, he shaved his head and donated his hair and I told him that I was on a similar mission, just not to the point of baldness.

So, hair donations became a natural starting point for conversation. After a few minutes we got down to the business we both knew had to be done…

“I know I was a disappointment,” he said. “But I had a really good time in your class. You’re a great teacher.”

“Well, thanks. But I’m not disappointed. You had a decision to make and you did what you had to do. I totally respect that. No disappointment at all. Besides, languages will always be there if you ever decide to go back to them.”

“Thanks,” he said. “That means a lot.”

After that, we chatted for a few more minutes, during which time I asked how his courses had gone and he said he’d done well in his first year and was pleased with his marks. He had just come from the bookstore with some summer reading… pretty deep stuff on humanism and philosophy, especially for an 18-year old. I was impressed and I told him so, wrapping up the conversation on a positive note. We parted ways on good terms, exchanging smiles and good wishes.

It struck me strange that our paths never crossed once during the winter semester, but rather, once classes had ended for the year, thus giving him the chance to honestly tell me that things had worked out well for him during the academic year.

It also occurred to me that it was ironic that our chance meeting took place in the phys ed. building… the very place I’d faced many of my own struggles in the fall semester. Seems we both overcame our respective obstacles… just in different ways.

Funny how these things work out, sometimes…

He’s a good kid… and didn’t deserve to carry around the feeling that he’d disappointed me… or himself. I was thankful to have the chance to get closure on the situation.

This has been one of the most stressful, draining and emotionally demanding weeks that I’ve had in a long time… Some of it I have blogged about and other bits, I’m not quite ready to blog about yet... but suffice to say, it has taken it’s toll… Today’s encounter put an unexpectedly positive twist on things and was a nice way to end the week.


ipodmomma said...

so glad your week ended with a postive encounter... an that you and G got to have some proper closure as well...

hope the weekend continues in this manner...

thinking of you...

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

That's good, and you handled it quite well too. Maybe this will help G in the future with his other classes and teachers, and knowing that instructor are good people who want their students to succeed.

I'm glad your kitty is better and it was something easily taken care of.


M A F said...

Hello Sarah, it was good to catch up on G after reading all the speculative posts as to why he dropped your class. Loved the irony of meeting in the phys ed building.

Strange to hear about your cat. I love animals but had no idea that cats react badly to eucalyptus. I guess it is the sensitivity of their olfactory.

Turtle Guy said...

What a relief about Nimbus! ...give her a squeeze for me, k!

Beautiful story of G.

Robb said...

Meeting up with G was just what you needed. Yes, a positive twist!

Spanish...that brings back memories. Two years of Spanish at UNB - ugh (same prof both years - double ugh)!

Have a good weekend.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, what a great end!

and I had no idea cats didn't like eucalyptus. interesting!

Granny said...

I knew that about cats but probably wouldn't have made the connection either.

There's some other critter that doesn't like it but I can't remember.

Moths? I don't know.

backofpack said...

Sarah, I'm glad the week ended on a positive note. And that your kitty is okay! (I love his name)

robtherunner said...

What a wonderful way to bring closure to you both and it shows what a wonderful teacher you are that you were concerned about G in the first place.

Hasta Luego