The class is chaotic to say the least. Eight 15-18 year old girls have a lot to say, and most of it doesn't have anything to do with Tita, Rosaura, and the other characters in our book. Then there are moments when the dream Olivia had last night or the strange man Sophia encountered at work pop right up into the text and somehow the story is more relevant and more real because of it.
I've stopped envisioning the class as I did and begun to accept the "advisory group" that is emerging around those tables. Some days I feel like I'm leading a girls' support group- support for your life, which at that age seems to be nearly impossible. There will be other teachers to drill the subjunctive with them, but when again will Laura have another chance like this? And when will I?
Hopefully sooner rather than later. I see now how this class is preparing me from what is to come- preparing me to listen instead of talk all the time, to let go of a little control and receive what is happening. It's preparing me to value each of Ali and Claire's questions as precious, even when they seem silly. It's preparing me to really hear what Zoe is saying about her Israeli and Russian family, and take it in as a priceless key to understanding not just her but those who come to the table with a unique cultural perspective.
Thank you, my sweet girls, for what you are teaching me about Peru without knowing it, and for the meaning you add to my days. And thank you, Lord, for the gift you are giving me in them.