A few days ago, while looking through some old school records, I came across my TEFL Certificate, which brought back memories of the five weeks I spent in Boston nearly three years ago, four of which were the most intense yet rewarding of my life. So I hopped on to the Boston Academy of English website, and was pleasantly surprised to come across this new video on the home page:
It’s amazing how much the school has grown and how far it has come, considering that it was already very well established when I did my TEFL certification there in March 2008. I always tell people who ask that it’s better to train for something like this in a foreign place, because the staggeringly vast diversity of nationalities, languages and cultures that all come together make the teaching and learning experience so much more memorable.
Watching that video, looking at the familiar faces, and especially Cora, one of my trainers, I realize more than ever how much I’ve truly missed Boston and the amazing times I had there. And now that I’m finally attempting to put my certification to good use, I’m reminded more and more every day that given the chance, I would go through those four weeks all over again.
“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.” – Washington Irving
I’ve never really liked the idea of change. Fear of the unknown, sadness of leaving the familiar behind, apprehension towards testing uncharted waters, and the possibility of failure are the main factors that have always held me back from embracing something new. It’s only after a great deal of thinking, debating, pushing and bawling that I can ever make up my mind to pursue something, and even that with great caution.
But this time it’s different. This time, I know what I want and what I must do to get it, regardless of how long it takes. Over the past two weeks I’ve been given a sign, which has reassured me that I need no longer worry about feeling any guilt or fear towards what I’m about to do. The only ties, strings and bridges that I ever cared about have self-destructed, and now I’m free to move on with what I’ve planned to do.
To a certain extent I will always care, I suppose, and to a certain extent it will always hurt, but it’s the pain that teaches us to brave up, be strong, and throw all emotional attachment into the fire and focus on what we were meant to do.
So hello, Change. You’ve been a long time coming.
One of my favorite songs from 1965’s The King & I, also known as the doormat’s anthem:
This is a man who thinks with his heart
His heart is not always wise
This is a man who stumbles and falls
But this is a man who tries
This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive
And help and protect as long as you live
He will not always say
What you would have him say
But now and then he’ll say something wonderful
The thoughtless things he’ll do
Will hurt and worry you
Then all at once he’ll do something wonderful
He has a thousand dreams that won’t come true
You know that he believes in them
And that’s enough for you
You’ll always go along
Defend him when he’s wrong
And tell him when he’s strong
He is wonderful
He’ll always need your love
And so he’ll get your love
A man who needs your love
Can be wonderful
– Terry Saunders, Something Wonderful –