When I told my massage therapist what I was doing, he said, "I teach classes on Wednesday night. I found a book called The Courage to Teach, and I recommend it." So I went to www.paperbackswap.com, where you can get books from other people for free (your cost is mailing the books you've got available when another person requests them). I found the book and ordered it.
When the book arrived, I left a message for the sender, Mike S.
Thanks. I'm working on a goal to teach English as a second language. A friend says this book has been a good one for him in his teaching.
I got a message back:
My wife received her ESL endorsement shortly before she passed away last year. She taught for 35 years and this was her book. Good luck on your educational goals. I hope it goes well.
I sent one more note:
Thank you, Mike. I'll think of your wife as I move toward this goal.
So now, as I learn this new skill, I am carrying on the work of Mike's wife.
I could have sent no message when I got the book. Usually I don't. But this time it made a difference. Now I'm connected to another teacher from another place.
Today I took my twin granddaughters to an hour-long program at the library. While they were engaged I had a chat with the librarian. I told her about my goal. She said there's an 80-year-old guy named Steve in the next community over who has volunteered at the library for many years. Twice a week he has "talk time" and people show up to practice speaking English. She said sometimes they read the paper together and discuss what they've read. Every now and then they surprise Steve by bringing a meal from their native culture. They've formed a little community, these people at the library. All because of Steve.
I'd like to meet Steve - just sit quietly in the back of the room, and watch and listen. And learn.
I'm close to the end of my fourth week of not working. Week 1 we went to San Antonio for four days. Week 2 we were distracted by Larisa the Sick Cat. Week 3 we traveled to Whistler and then to California. This week we have our granddaughters visiting.
So far I don't miss work. Not one bit.