I received a quick call this evening from one of my students. I had to cancel class today because I’m not feeling very well. I’m getting stabbing pains in my stomach and my muscles ache. My student was not in the class I canceled, so she had to have heard about it down the grapevine, as they say. She called specifically to tell me to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest so I’ll be able to have class tomorrow (one of which is hers).
This about made my melt heart. The openness of the students here still astounds me. I don’t mean, like, they’ll chat you up if they find you alone somewhere (though they will). I’m talking about their ability to just throw their emotions out there, in all sincerity, like she really wanted to make sure that I knew to drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. She cared so much that she called me at my home.
There is no way in America that that would not be seen as just a little creepy. But here . . . god, they’re just so sincere. Without a hint of irony. You can’t not appreciate it. And it’s something that I suspect you’ll never find in America. I certainly can’t do it. I mean . . . how can you not be a little ironic?
Imagine Kenneth Parcel from 30 Rock—that is what these students are like. But even Kenneth every now and then comes off as just a little creepy, a little sinister—usually for a laugh, but how many of you who watch the show have to think that somewhere deep down inside that character is something sinister.
*sigh* . . . When did this happen? When did I lose the ability to be so sincere? Is it a product of their sheltered lives, always being protected by the Authority? If so . . . then why do I want it too?