Saturday, May 27, 2006

May 2006 Update: New Coworkers.

Hi everyone.

Well, a few things. Two of my coworkers finished
their contracts this last week: Jared and James were
nice guys, but now they're travelling and will head
back to Canada soon. I have a new roommate -- I moved
across the hall so that I could have a guy roommate
instead of Melissa. His name is Anthony, he's from
northern England, and he's a pretty nice guy. Also,
April came from North Carolina and she's nice too.
The big bonus came at work, when I was playing a song
that I'd put on my work computer (while doing other
important work, of course), and April turned around
and said, "Is that the. . . and named the (somewhat
obscure) band?" Turns out both these new roomies are
the same kinds of avid music fans I am, which makes me
think we 'll have a lot of great conversations about
music, and which is a great starting point for the
rest of the friendship.

but my mailing address is still the same as before.
Please continue sending all gifts, money orders, tins
of Tim Hortons coffee, magazine subscriptions, Far
Side Collections, cards and fanmail to

*** if you know me, you know how to contact me. this is published online,
so I've taken personal information out of the e-mails.***

I saw Matt get married three weekends ago, and it was
fantastic. Matt's best friends came from Canada, and
my theory that Matt's true superpower is attracting
high quality human beings into his circle of
friendship, has been confirmed. To a person, the
people who came out to see the wedding were cool,
kind, fun, and generally about twelve different kinds
of awesome. So that was cool. My ex-girlfriend
Exgirfriendoseyo (the bride's twin sister) was there, of course,
but we've been doing some work to get back to a place
of friendship, and so that was all fine. She even
sent me her toast to the bride, and I proof-read it
for her. (She did a great job.)

Other than that. . . things have been going as usual
at work, I'm excited about the new roommates, it's
getting warmer, all good things. I don't get to tell
as many stories in my new classes as I did before, but
I'm mostly OK with that. I still have a lot of

Gloria's one of the sweet, cute little five year olds
that just started. She likes me a lot, and she'll
come over and play with me during break times. One
day she came running through the play room, chasing
her friend Sophia, and I called her name, "Gloria!
Come play!" Usually she answers that summons with a
big smile on her face, but this time, she paused in
the doorway, looked back and said, very
matter-of-factly, "Teacher, me busy," and ran off.

I can't say I've ever been blown off so cutely.
Usually, when they're my age, and a girl doesn't want
to spend time with me, I'm at least partly unhappy,
but this time I was all goo.

Another time, we were talking about butterflies in my
older class, and I asked,
"what do you call a baby butterfly?" (They all know
the story "the very hungry caterpillar", so I figured
this would be an easy one.)

Arooh says, "Butter?"
I laughed. "No, Arooh. That's not what you call a
baby butterfly. Do you know, Eric? What do you call
a baby butterfly?"


Eric got two laugh stickers for that answer.

"What is the smartest animal?" (dolphin)
No answers.
"It starts with a D."
"David?" (one of the students in the class' name)

The dinosaur "Apatosaurus" was recently renamed
"A-potato-saurus" by my student Lucas.

My student Harry recently wore a t-shirt to class that
bore the English letters:

"Your gsehkd dsfje fhdawj your jgwqd wedsh." The
literal translation is "English characters look cool
on a t-shirt."

One day I wore my Superman T-shirt to school. The
kids always get excited when I wear the Superman

"Teacher. You are Superman!"
"Yes. I am Superman. You are Super-Tom! Hello
"Hello Superman."
"Hello Super-Ryan."
"Hello Superman."
"Hello Super-Annie."
"Hello Superman." (The students all think this is
great fun.)
"Hello Super-Kate."
"Hello Supermarket."

And the kids are sweet, too. The other day I was
playing Beethoven's ninth during lunch time, and the
kids were eating quietly, and during the famous ending
theme, a few of the kids started spontaneously moving
to the grand, expansive feeling of the music. It
reminded me again how powerfully and unconsciously
music jumps right through our guards, and how
intuitively responsive these kids can be. Fantastic.
I teach gym class every day now, and I play a game
where the kids have to dance, and when I pause the
music, they all have to freeze. I get to play some of
my best cheerful music, the kids get to dance, and I
get wildly entertained by the silly dances I call out
for the kids. "Do an elephant dance!" "Do a rabbit
dance!" "Do a fat tummy dance!" (it also gives me
great ideas for when I go out dancing with my friends.
Hee hee hee.) Music makes me happy. I'm writing a
lot these days. Quite good stuff, too (especially the
poetry). And finishing a lot of stuff that's been in
progress for a long time. Seeing these things take
form is very satisfying. I feel better these days --
like the changes that have been trying to push through
are starting to take shape, and the things I've lived
through are starting to make me a new person, rather
than just creating tension within the person I can no
longer quite be.

I'm starting to see more colours. I'm starting to be
happy with my friends, and my situation. These are
good things.

So change my phone number in my address book.

More later.

Rob Oprivacyhand

Here's one of the poems I wrote. If you don't like
poetry, I'll sign off here, and you can pretend it's
just the quote that goes after my signature, and
ignore it as such. If you do like poetry, then you'll
wonder why I'm so apologetic.

Love you all.


"The Potter"

Slow, dust pushing
against each knucklebend,
heavy with riverbanks'
earthy murmurs,
the pottetr's dirty
mud-slick hands
banish the whole room
except the wheel
the clay
and the air pouring
into a new emptiness.

More perfecting
the vessel's
startling new capacity
than shaping walls
both spinning
and motionless,
the potter
sets a potential
into what once
was only mud,
and by preparing it for them,
also creates
all the things
it will one day contain.