March 30, 2010

This tummy bug can't stop me!

Lately, I've been feeling lost—to say the least. My old identity as student and writing tutor has been traded in for wandering foreigner, leaving me confused about my niche in the world. To add to my disorientation, for the first time since I can remember, my success is not measured in grades. I have no A's to assure me that I am doing good work. Here, success is much more difficult to gauge. When my envisioned lesson plan leaves me reaching for the ejection seat, I often feel personally responsible, like I've really failed my students. Sure, I've only been a teacher for a short time, but I take such pride in my work that I am constantly evaluating my lessons. In Cambodia, my identity is based on my work at CWF, and I take that commitment very seriously—As always, I want to do my best work.

This morning, I know I was successful. Not even the ominous lower abdominal rumblings could stop me (though for just a moment, I was very concerned). My lesson on peer review with the Advanced Discussion went like a dream. As an English teacher, I was pleased that my students were communicating with the vocabulary I had presented. As a writer, however, I was thrilled to share my enthusiasm for this aspect of the writing process.

In this identity crisis, I am able to see what I really love doing. Whether as a teacher or student, I am fascinated by the writing process, the language acquisition process, and that moment when a new concept makes sense. Painful as it may be sometimes, realizing stuff like this is exactly what I wanted out of Cambodia (good thing because there are no refunds on journeys to find yourself). I can't wait to see what else Cambodia has in store for me!