A Moment to Reflect

Today was my 62nd birthday.  That’s a big one.  After 18 and 21, it’s probably the most significant birthday that doesn’t end in zero.  It’s retirement age, the beginning of Social Security – in America, at any rate and, even though I don’t live there, I’ll be getting it, and damned glad of it.

Of course, it doesn’t  mean I’m finished working.  Writers work forever. I imagine I’ll be maintaining this blog, writing at least one tweet a day, churning out the books of poetry,  and maybe  even a  few  novels, until I die, which hopefully will be very  far in the future.  I just saw a headline that one  scientist thinks people will start  living forever from 2029.  That gives me a goal.  Gotta stay in it to win it.
I also intend to keep teaching English, because  that’s just  what  I do.  Money aside, it has become an integral part of my identity.  Having such  a sharply defined identity is a good thing.  It gives me reassurance.

There was a funny moment in one  class today.  4 to 6 year olds, and they were getting totally  out of line.  We were playing “Don’t Pick Your Nose,” which, admittedly is  not a very challenging game.  No more skill required than candy  land.  The boys were just throwing their cards  all over the place.  The girls weren’t being quite so bad, but they were laughing with the boys.  We came to the card that says “You are sitting  on a crowded bus and an elderly lady gets on.  What do you do?”
I felt it was time  for a change of pace, so  I pulled out 4 chairs and we played bus.  If I can’t teach them English, maybe at least I’ll teach them some manners.

Then, because I had a serious point I wanted to make, I started speaking to them in Czech.  My point was that  English may be a different language and there are lots of languages in the world, but some things are universal, and giving your seat to an old person on a crowded bus  is one of  them.
One of the girls  was looking at me totally wide eyed and she suddenly blurted  out “You speak Czech!”  The lesson about  international public  transportation  etiquette was totally lost.


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