My alarm goes off and I quickly turn over in the king size bed I’m sleeping on to reach the bedside table with my cell phone on it. It’s still dark – 5am to be exact. I got 30min to get ready before my first business English lesson begins…
The thermostat reads 75 degrees(F), because it’s hot here, but I have been longing for heat, I welcome it. I head to the kitchen in the dark, but I know the way, as it is a spacious house. Once in the kitchen I go through the routine of preparing my steaming hot espresso with the Bialetti coffeemaker I have brought with me on this trip – a must. I place it on the industrial size gas stovetop, a common sight in homes here, and within minutes it’s whistling at me. I take it to one of the empty bedrooms with my mug and butter, a glass of water and lemon and take a comfortable seat while I connect to zoom with my iPad. I get dressed in the dark and rinse my face…It’s showtime!
The thing is, I am not in the classroom, I am in Miami, Florida USA, an ocean away from my headquarters otherwise known as home. I am in the heat, it’s absolutely wonderful.
If you had told me I’d ever teach a single lesson online I would have shrugged and waved it off. If you had told me that I would teach a class someday online while half way across the world I would have laughed – come on, stop smoking that stuff man!
What a transformation!
A reality now!
We’ve come a loooong way since this pandemic nearly freaked us all out to death but in the aftermath of the frenzy and madness and a new normal was established and though I can admit that I am late to the party a bit there’s no doubt this NEW-ness is here to stay!
No objections from this guy 🙂
Five hours after finishing up my morning, and all my lessons I am on Miami beach overlooking the Atlantic, only here when I enter the sea I am not shivering but refreshed and warm. It’s a straight up miracle as far as I am concerned. But one I have embraced so fully I can’t help but smile, even giggle. The beach is sandy and the sea is turquoise and the sun is beating down on me while I watch my kids dance by the breaking waves, getting their toes wet. I sit and dry off and take in the scene so that I can remember the details because I am on the beach in the heat but not in Krakow, and actually haven’t cancelled my lessons.
I am running. The heat surrounds me, and I am warming up real quick. The lessons of the day finished in the late morning today. But it’s cloudy and rain is expected in this tropical place. As I move through the neighborhood I get waves and greetings from my suburban neighbors and continue on. The best way to explore is by running around and today is no different. I realize that even with the high temperatures my legs and lungs feel fine on this day. I’m cruising. I got energy and some of my breakfast still as fuel. The dragonflies zip by me from time to time here and I flinch – it’s not typical of my usual surroundings. My time here is almost done, wow it really flew by like those dragonflies!
A feeling remains in me though, something about this hybrid working thing seems to be just right. Maybe I am not present in the classroom but my students don’t seem to have noticed my absence. If anything, it served as a topic to springboard a conversation from. And so it was, that after two weeks of Miami thrills and chills and teachings, family in toe, I realized this job, this time we live in, it’s remarkable – even for a teacher of English as a second language.
Next destination in the works….. 🙂