And, being the obedient little puppy dog of a boyfriend that I am, I decided that I'd give it a go too. I'm not at all religious (though I was brought up a Catholic), and I haven't given anything up for Lent since I was about 8 years old. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure if I managed to successfully give up chocolate mice.
Never mind the inconsiderate bugger who decreed that Lent should start on a Wednesday, which just so happens to be my seven-lesson day. (For those new to the blog, I'm a secondary school Maths teacher.) The least they could have done was ease me in on a no-lesson Monday. (For those new to the blog, I'm a part-time secondary school Maths teacher.) Fortunately, the Year 10s are on work experience for the next fortnight, so I "only" had six lessons to contend with today.
And it went okay. It wasn't one of those oh-too-rare days where I come home on a massive high, but it was quite nice. There were lots of things I could quite easily have moaned about, but I didn't. I shared some of them with colleagues, but I said most of them with a smile on my face, and didn't dwell.
This reminds me a little bit of being in Tanzania. When somebody greets you in Swahili and asks you how you are, your responses are limited to the equivalents of "good", "cool", and "excellent". Any kind of negative response is simply not done. You can, if you wish, then go on to explain how you really are, but by then the tone is already set.
"Habari yako, bwana!"I'm now in a similar position.
"Safi, bwana, safi. Nimepata malaria."
So I thought I might as well embrace it. I'm going to try to post about something that goes well or makes me smile every day. And here is today's...
Today one of my Year 11 students came to me at lunchtime and asked me to write him a reference, as he has an interview at a college tomorrow. My first instinct was that he seemed to have left it a bit late, and that I'm probably not the best person to write it for him - I haven't been teaching him very long at all, and only see him once a week.
After an initial confusion, he explained that he just wanted an extra subject reference. So I asked him to come back at the end of the day, as there were only a few minutes til the next lesson, and I still wasn't sure exactly what he was after.
By the end of the day, I'd forgotten he was coming, but sure enough he turned up, and he wasn't bothered that I wasn't quite ready for him, wasn't in a rush to get home. He simply waited patiently and looked on in interest as I carefully packed away the Bedlam Cube that the Year 9s had been playing with in period 7.
He then pulled out the stack of letters he'd collected from other teachers and showed me examples of what they'd written, and then I wrote him a short paragraph.
I can't see many other secondary students going to such effort (and with such patience) for their college interviews. I hope he does really well tomorrow.
Also, this made me smile, via my friend Steve.