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Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2012

No, I didn’t buy a share…it wasn’t time

do you want a cookie with that?

I was up this morning when Zuckerberg rang the NASDAQ bell and then signed his name. It was a little lame to say the least. (Full disclosure, FaceBook is our neighbor here in Menlo Park). I expected the world to be turned upside down with the IPO of the social network, it didn’t. I suppose I was mildly interested in how the stock would do, but I was too busy checking out who liked my recent pictures and what new beer a friend was trying out ( at 7 a.m.!) I have a feeling that all the hype is part of a burgeoning bubble that will probably grow as time goes on. But for me, I nether had the money nor inclination to plunk down a sizable sum to buy a sizable bunch of shares. I also missed out years ago to buy Apple when it was trading at $5.00 a share way back when. I do that. My timing sucks pond water. So I will continue to rely on Social Security a little retirement fund and teaching part time to live my life quietly. I have never been much of a gambler. I hate Casinos because the money disappears down the black hole so quickly. No, I just watched from a distance while buyers and sellers did their thing on the electronic network.

I actually had more pressing issues to deal with this Friday. Three of my English language students are finishing up their time at the school and moving on. One Chinese boy, one Paraguyan lad and one Syrian man are off to do other things, return home or explore the U.S. before heading back to their home countries. That is the hard thing about this job I have, letting go. I become attached to students very easily and it is equally as difficult to send them off into the world, knowing a little more English than when they started and very capable of fending for themselves. It is the nature of the beast known as language school. I get comfortable around the students and they with me. I get to know their personalities and sense of humor. They begin to get my jokes and then it is time for them to leave. The whole cyclic thing is bitter sweet.

The longest student I had was for 7 months. I got him the day after he arrived from Beijing and we crawled through nouns,pronouns, present progressive, past continuous together. We have become very familiar. From calls wanting me to help him when he fell off his bike to discussions about relationships and everything in between to random thoughts that would pop into his head in the middle of class brought us closer together. Now he is off to China then back in August to start in an American high school. It was time.

Then there’s the Paraguyan high schooler who a few months ago wouldn’t say “boo” in English who leaves today carrying on conversations and initiating discussions…in English. His confidence level at this point in time is through the roof. I am confident when he returns home he will shine in his new high school. He is way too smart to fail. And it was time.

Finally my student from Aleppo in Syria. He is from a city recently touched by the violence gripping the rest of that historic country. As the violence spread, I began to see a sadness cross over his face as the weeks rolled on. But he finishes today a little more upbeat looking forward to attending art school. His sense of the silly and general sense of humor has carried him all this time. And for him…it was time.

For all three the culmination of their Americanizing came on Tuesday night when they and 15 other students and myself journeyed up to AT&T Park to watch the Giants. It was cool evening for all of them and a freezing night for all. The key operative word was “fun.”

Come Monday, new students from new countries will arrive and we will begin again. In a few months I will be going through a day like this again. Over at the IPO from FaceBook buy??? sell???…nah….I hit the “Like” button in class.

and so it goes…


About the Author

- A little song, a little dance, a little coffee down your pants... Many, many years in the classroom and now on my own. A chance to think about stuff and how it affects everyone, not just me. Now residing in the Czech Republic