Report card writing usually takes quite a bit out of me.
Even my colleagues ask me why my comments are so long, which has been the main reason behind me pulling a couple all-nighters, because otherwise report cards would probably need just half the time that I take. The real reason behind this self-inflicted struggle, is that I want to let the parents know that it’s not just the marks that matter, rather their attitude as a learner, a student, a person. I spend more time with these kids than most of their parents. I keep thinking if I were a mom, I’d be curious to know how my child is, in the areas that matter, such as their emotional well-being, their altruistic tendencies (or the lack thereof—if this is the case, then it would definitely be from the hidden genes of my future husband (ha!)). So things like, Jake may not be a good test-writer, but he always brings an infectious positive energy to class, and we all love him for it; Sam may not be the best at writing essays, but he always tries to offer his insights, never fearing of making mistakes; and Angela, Angela may always be achieving the highest possible grades, but she’s often so stressed, and no child should ever have to feel they can’t live up to their parents’ expectations.
Sometimes, the kids read their own report cards, too. So my comments are also for them. They need to know that I notice it when they spend extra effort on their readings, when they choose to ignore their immature friends and stay focused, when they step out of their fear of public speaking and participate in class. I want them to know that, their effort counts, and that I am ever so proud of them.
That’s why report cards are hard to write. At the end of all those comments, it’s usually a seven-thousand-word affair.
Life seems to have its own momentum and once the pendulum starts swinging, there’s little to no stopping it.
I guess the pendulum started swinging for me sometime last winter, the winter of 2016.
It was a rough winter. Not only was the weather mercilessly cold and wet, I had also lost Frankie (my cat) and my relationship—one that I wholeheartedly wanted to be the ‘next chapter of my life’.
The combination of the aforementioned factors made life quite unbearable for me. Waking up alone, without the cuddles of Frank and my ex, made me dread the Vancouver winter even more. I soon found myself sad and feeling hopelessly trapped.
They say that the older one gets, the more scared one becomes—this was (and still is) true for me. Some 7 years ago, in 2010, I excitedly packed what little belongings I had and moved to London. I had practically nothing to lose and the move felt like the perfect logical decision to make (and the fact that I always felt I was an European girl at heart probably helped). But 7 years later, I don’t know where that courage had gone. Moving out of Vancouver suddenly seemed like a daunting task. I have investments, friends, my sister, a stable job, and way too much furniture here. How could I just up and leave? Instead of the ‘nothing to lose’ mentality, I was infected with the ‘every thing to lose’ mentality.
But like I said, life has a momentum of its own. After a sequence of events, it looks like I will be moving out of here shortly.
And the brain is strange; once my days in Vancouver are numbered, every thing seems a lot more bearable, even the incessant torrential downpour. The thought of this being potentially the last fall and winter in Vancouver for who-knows-how-long supersedes my annoyance towards the weather, and softens my heart.