Friday, November 5, 2010

Taking Stock of My European Teaching Week

All in all, I enjoyed my 1 week course here in Europe.  It is exhausting teaching 3 hr lectures with jet lag.  But there were some highlights from this multi-national group of grad students:

* On the first day, before class, a student calls out from the back, "Hello Professor! Welcome! Have you ever met a Maasai before?"  That just cracks me up.

* One student is a famous stage actor in this EU country.  As if that's not delightful enough, he is also a gay father of a baby and a 6-yr old.  He stays here during the week with baby; 6-yr old and spouse are in big city 90 minutes away.  Seeing him with his baby, I realized how rare it is for me to see a man who is the primary parent, the main nurturer for a baby.  He calls himself the "mother."  He is indeed a beautifully loving parent.  Sigh...he makes me want another baby (ain't happening, though).

* One student is a retired child soldier from Sudan (often termed "Lost Boys/Girls of Sudan").  He is an inspiration--a wonderful example of humans' ability to overcome and triumph. 

* There is a great walking trail system here. Since this is my 2nd year here, I'm getting bolder. The trails go all over.  Luckily, the village is on a hill.  So I just head down a path and keep the village in view most of the time.  I've always managed to get back by some lovely path within an hour or so.

* I've eaten some wonderful meals now that the restaurants have opened up again after their two-day holiday (during which I could only buy cookies and chocolate at the little market).

Lovely spot, neat students--these make up for the low pay and long flight! 

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