Saturday, June 4, 2016

Being Bored

Combate Beach, Puerto Rico
I spent the weekend in Puerto Rico with my sister and her family as my nephew graduated from high school. The weekend was wonderful ... hot, fun, and some time was spent at the beach. I took this picture when I went up to the cooler to refresh the cerveza supply. We spent the afternoon lazing in a the Caribbean, drinking Corona, and leaving everything to wait.

My nephew and G-ma hit the dance floor.
Prom in Puerto Rico is much different that what I'm used to having planned many proms for the students that I teach. For my students it may be the biggest fancy event of their lives, sadly. I suffer all of their planning as I'm trying to teach them how to write an essay ... they want fancy: Rolls Royce, diamond tipped nails, hotel suites, and god only knows what else. I supposed that there is fun in the planning, but the prom itself is usually, in my estimation, a bore. Most students show up late, urn their noses up at any food served to them because hot sauce is not supplied, and move on to what could not possiblly live up to their KK (Kim Kardashian)-dreams.

In Puerto Rico, it is a party for all. Mami and Papi ... little sisters ... and even titi Carol and G-ma were invited. It starts at 7 p.m. and ends when the last man is standing. I think that we finally left at 2:30 a.m. because little sister was falling asleep, and G-ma and I had to go home the next day. The evening began with a papi/daughter dance then a mami/son dance. My nephew danced with his mother, then G-ma. One band played, then a DJ spinned, then another band came on, and another band moved the evening along. And the dance floor was full of the generations. Everyone danced. Everyone partied. And everyone had a good time. Dinner was served. And when it was time, nibbles were passed around to make sure that everyone had the energy to dance some more. What a wonderful celebration of high school.

My nephew will go off of the island to college next year, and it will be good for him. The island gave him his tongue and pride, but his mind is meant to open much wider than the opportunities available for him there. His speech was not chosen to be given at graduation. With a gringo mami and a papi, who is definitely his own man in his hometown where men live the island life, his message was not ... understood by his peers. At our at-home graduation soiree with good champagne and the horn of plenty, we convinced the graduate to give his speech to us. Naturally, I am biased and love the words that were so easy for him to pull from his memory, but I think that he has something here ... I am rarely bored, but when I am ... with this in mind, I have a new perspective. When I am feeling ... bored or restless, it is time for me to set new goals. On his graduation, I think that he was in this place where ... it's been great! But I need to move along. And for that, I am proud of him. And I worry for my own students who don't have the confidence or place or support to understand that right here ... this time of 18 is just the beginning of what could be, if treated as such, the beginning of a beautiful relationship with ... life.

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