Columbus Day


onday was a holiday, I think. Of course that didn’t mean that I didn’t have work… or class… Every school in the DC area had school off except us. According to my students, this is because our school is an “international school” International School? Ha! We are as international as Southwest Airline, the Greyhound of the skies. Well, I’m just as enthused about our “status” as an international school as my students are…

So, anyway, I asked if we should celebrate Columbus Day as virtually everyone else in the city is. All these eyes were looking at me with hope and gleeful anticipation.

“Yeah, let’s celebrate Columbus Day! That’s the spirit, Professor!”

I feed off of this kind of enthusiasm. Yeah, baby. Give me that look. show your expectation and anticipation and hope. I feel their emotions filling my body. I’m growing, getting larger, blowing up.

“Columbus came to America and discovered a beautiful land, a land abundant in natural beauty,” I say with my own eyes wide open with joy. “Indeed, Sei Shonagon expressed her views of the most beautiful time of the day for each season. and in celebration of Columbus Day, we too should express our views of the beauty we have seen in and around our own birthplace.”

And I go on to call on each student and have them tell the class what is the most beautiful season in the city or town they grew up in, as well as the most representative hour of the day in that season, a la Sei Shonagon. Those from Florida said Spring in the morning, before it rains in the afternoon. Others described the beauty of the clouds right before a tornado, and the various monochromatic shades of the snow on a sunny winter day.

It was a very nice class and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. Heheheheheheh…

BTW: Since it was a relaxed class–well, more relaxed than most–one particular student mentioned how he appreciated the joke on the first day of school, when I started the class in Japanese. I mentioned back at the beginning of September that it seemed that no one reacted in shock or horror, and that really bummed me out. Well, when this student mentioned this, a number of other students nodded in agreement. Apparently many of them were actually freaking out: “Is this Japanese literature class IN Japanese?” “Am I in the right class?” This bit of information was refreshing and rather pleasing–in a pixilated kind of way. Hahahaahha. As it turns out, even though I had class, it was a very nice Columbus Day.

So did you work on Columbus Day?

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