Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Torch Story

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

~ Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Sound of Music

It was my weekend for luncheons with Marias. On Saturday, it was Maria from Nicaragua.

She confessed that she was nervous about having an English-only lunch one-on-one with me. She thought the restaurant was beautiful. She loved her album and told me that she'd remember this day forever.

We talked about her family - her 2 sons who are still living in Nicaragua, her pregnant daughter in Florida and her daughter living in France, who will soon be coming to visit with her new baby - a granddaughter that Maria hasn't met yet. We talked about her job and what life has been like as a widow for the last 3 years.

We had a very nice time! :)

Then, on Sunday, it was lunch with Maria from Venezuela.

She is my best student (not counting Ana, who isn't really an official student, but comes sometimes.) Truthfully, Maria didn't need to take my beginner class - she probably could have gone into the more advanced class. But she came with a friend who was a true beginner and they wanted to be together.

Anyways, she wasn't nervous - she was looking forward to having a chance to practice her English and it was very easy to have a conversation with her. I learned about her family - including her daughter who is a special nurse in a hospital ward for premature babies and her grandchildren, 2 of whom are off to college next year.

She thought the restaurant was beautiful and appreciated the album, although the missions weren't exactly challenging for her, so I don't think it had the same meaning that it has (I think & hope) for some of the other students.

Did you notice that the restaurant is seating me at the same table with all my students? No one has asked yet what I'm up to, but the hostess and waitress definitely recognize me. ;)

Next weekend is a break, because we're having out-of-town company. But then it's back to this "business" - I still have 4 students left to go... At this rate, the gain around my waist is more than making up for the loss of size in my wallet! ;)