Dad. In the 80s. Unreal.
Do you have things that remind you of something past?
Like how Pantene Pro-V’s smell brings me back to when I visited Ang in Kamloops four years ago. Or “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” by Keith Urban puts me in the back of Jeff’s Durango with Paul move out day, first year at Mount Royal. Ginger Ale for my mom and Coca Cola for my dad. The smell of the rain reminds me of when Joce, Sarah, and I went to Cody’s house pretending to be Charlie’s Angels, with Jody in toe as our Boswell… this was too many years back to count. Whenever I smell a new baby I think of Jayme; when spring comes in Calgary I ‘am’ playing catch with Ken in the field; when I have a Kokanee I ‘am’ back in that room, studying for a psychology final. Peroxide and hair dye makes me think about Norma.
Sometimes, when the bed squeeks, I feel like I am with Jes in our massive double bunk bed, back before we knew 2+2=4. But that feeling is pretty faint. A hug that makes me feel particularly secure reminds me of when I needed my Dad. When I see someone in grey sweatpants I think of my grad year; if I am by a river, I am ‘really’ at Luke’s parents property in Moricetown; driving at night makes me think of home. The song “Getting Into You” by Relient K opens up the pain of last year while the song “I Got You” by Craig Morgan reminds me of possibility (Mark and Jes’ ‘walking back down the aisle’ song). Sunscreen reminds me of the creek whereas rollerblades give me imaginary pain, even though I do it all the time, for those wipeouts Nadina witnessed me make first year. Chinese food always puts me back to the table at Troy’s 16th birthday party where it was just me and 8 guys. We were best friends; apparently that meant I had to endure all boy birthday parties!
And the taste of coolwhip, well, that’s Jocelyn. Little Joce!–>
What do you come across that has memories tied to it that you can’t shake? Sometimes I wonder if the associations we have are just cruel punishment for trying to forget the things that hurt you the most. That you miss the most. That you wish for…the most.
This picture, well, just rocks. That’s Marli, Me, and Jes…. no shame on our parts but Jes clearly was over it.
The problem, that’s not really a problem, is that sometimes we need support outside of our parents and family and friends.
The problem is, I appreciate my parents belief in me, but sometimes I wonder if they believe in me because they love and like me, not because they understand me.
Don’t get me wrong. I think my parents are the best a person could ask for, they are even better than what I asked for… I think though, they understand me more now than they used to. But mainly because they didn’t give up on me. Because they love me.
But back to the problem.
I had a visit the other day; a visit that was long time coming. It was with my Professor from Mount Royal College. Stefan was my education prof and from the get-go, first year, we reached a stalemate. I took the majority of my education classes from him while at the college and I guess you could say, he likes me. He was the first teacher I had who values student thought over teacher lecture; self discovery over textbook learning; and recognizes the importance of life’s experience. His classes were the only place I ever felt understood, respected, and appreciated by my teacher while my classmates may have disagreed. I would say the things that no one else would think of that would warrant a “yes!” or “I love you– someone finally got it!” (no kidding, he said that once – I love you) from Stefan while throwing the other students for a loop. I have dreams, opinions, desires for my career as a teacher that my Professor always seemed to appreciate. I liked his class. I got A’s in his class. I got an A+ in his class.
Now last year, at one point, I was more depressed and sad than I had ever, if ever, been in my life. I won’t go into detail, but there were moments that I felt lower than the dirt on my shoe and nothing seemed to fade it away. There were reasons, yes, but nothing beyond God. So while I tried to make sense of what was going on, I began to not only feel confused and sad, but look it (I don’t hide things very well). I went to see my Professor about my future and the final, and I sat down in his office and he just told me “I don’t need to know what’s wrong. But trust. Trust yourself; trust God, for you are meant for more than this.” Yea, ok, I already know that.
Stefan told me numerous times that he sees himself in me. That when he was 22 and trying to figure out what was intended next, he only knew he wanted to teach. He said that’s why he tries to give me insight, wisdom, so that I might make better decisions. He’s taught on Indian Reserves with kids more troubled than I can begin to imagine; he’s globetrotted the entire world doing who-knows-what while embracing all that God offered him along the way. And this summer, he is planning to publish a book he’s been writing for thirty years. I figure, if he sees a little of himself in me, then can I try that too?
I asked him once if he thought I should teach elementary or high school… and he said “I’ve only told one student before you this, but I think you could do both.” Well, great, but the desire in my heart is to inspire older kids. Limit me, please.
It’s funny how going to see him the other day came after a long Easter weekend of doubting and fear for my future; for my dreams; he set me at ease. After an hour of talking and venting, he just told me again You aren’t studying to be a teacher, you already are a teacher. And I left feeling alright again, shamed at doubting God and remembering what on earth am I here for.
In my last class with Stefan, at the very end we had to write a paper called ‘My Philosophy of Education’ which I thought would be hard to write, given I am not a teacher yet. On the last day of class, we had to present our philosophy to the entire class. He saved me for last. Which sucked at first, because a feeling had been building inside me that I was a frustration to my class members, because he liked me. Because we had a bond. Because I was like him.
So I got up there to talk and I cried, I was so nervous, for the first time, because my paper was a seven page essay revolving around one simple concept: I don’t know what my philosophy of education is. I didn’t see how I could. I was vulnerable and scared, saying I wanted to inspire the way Stefan had inspired me, to recognize in each child his potential and consider that my education. I said I wanted to forever be adding to my philosophy because I never wanted to stop learning from my students (I am selfish that way). And to my surprise, one of my classmates raised his hand and said, “Kate, I hope I can inspire my own students the way you’ve inspired me… and the rest of the class.” What? Weird. And everyone agreed with him. Everyone told me they learnt as much from me as from Stefan. My Prof walked to the front of the class, and gave me a huge hug and said in my ear “Don’t ever ever be afraid to admit you don’t know. But ALWAYS know this: You are a teacher.”
I am not being conceited… if you know me at all, you know that I am not like that. I am just trying to pay tribute to my Professor. The man who sends me booklists in the summer to read and gave me a break on my final when my car got towed. The man who thinks I will write a bestselling novel one day and travel the world and fall in love with a man who will understand he doesn’t have to understand me. He also believes I will always feel out of place in a world that may not accept originality.
A 60+ year old man who was the first, outside my parents, family, and friends to say: Kate, I believe in you. You’ve got it. God believes in you. Now show it to us. It’s not that i don’t appreciate hearing if from others, but man it’s neat hearing it from someone in the profession. Someone who gets it.
So my problem is, I really don’t want to let anybody down. But sometimes it’s so hard. God’s got my back, and in turn, I need to take care of my responsibility to do what I am intended. I just hope good news comes in the next few months.
Plus it’s pretty cool having my Prof as a reference on my resume.
(Forgive the length. I am spending quality time with myself tonight…apparently I had a lot to say)
SO since I DON’T have my OWN kids to post about… I am posting about someone ELSE’S. My dear friend, Sandra, and her husband Ian just had a baby girl on the 29th… Gabriella Meier is her name… and I am soooo excited. Now I might have to go to Smithers for a quick visit to see the little one! Looks just like her mama:
So I have to just blow my own horn or pat my own back, however they are coining that phrase in the 2000s…but something happened today that was just unreal.
I was at work today, and kind of depressed to be there because I have so much to do… but I went anyways, even curled my hair crazier than usual. A gentleman, about 65 (and aged extremely well) came up to my teller’s wicket with a huge smile on his face. I had made the previous two clients laugh to tears so I think he was either listening in or anticipating the same return. Anyways, here’s the conversation, as I proceeded to deposit his cheques and pay his bills:
“So you’re new here aren’t you? I’ve never seen you in here before.”
Me- “Nope. I’ve been at this branch almost eight months. And I’ve sure seen you before!”
“Oh really, maybe you just like hiding from old men like me?”
Me- “Oh puhleeze, I am always sitting right here, minding my own business, doing my work, helping people, you know how it goes.”
“Well, I’ve been coming here for 32 years. I guess it’s a mystery because I really haven’t seen you before. Especially since you’ve made everyone in the line up smile in the last 20 mins I’ve been here…which is sort of unheard of.”
Me (Laughing at him)- “Yea right! Is that everything for you? … It is? Are you sure? Because I wouldn’t mind helping you with anything else you need?”
“Wow m’dear, that just solidifies it: because I definitely would never forget a gal like you. The poor man who steals your heart… with a personality and a smile like yours, I know he will keep you around for more than just that pretty hair!”
Me- “Oh wow, now you made me blush, are you single?” (I winked at him at this point so we were both laughing)
“Nope but my grandson is!!! I can’t wait until the next bills come, Miss Kate. Have a wonderful afternoon…”
I guess all I learnt from this, is you never, EVER know whose heart you’re touching… and if it’s 65 year old man whose only venture in a week is to come to the bank… then make his experience a good one. And don’t be suprised at the things will touch your heart. I am still grinning when I think about it.
Other than that, all I did was get my taxes done today… and my return is fabulous… yay for money and old men… I am KIDDING.