In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I would appreciate me. Yes, it may seem self-important but who else is going to toot my horn? No, I have not found the ideal teaching opportunity … yet. Yes, I am only substitute teacher and only an adjunct, but that does not mean that I do not put in just as much work or care any less for my students. Despite my lack of professional success, I continue doing teaching because I enjoy working with the students.
I decided that I should celebrate finishing the coursework towards my second master’s and finishing the graduate teaching assistant program at UNO. The last two years have been fast, furious, and stressful. For a number of years I haven’t known anything but studying or writing for a class, nor have I done anything for myself. I’ve done nothing to pat myself on the back. So, I congratulated myself with a trip to Jamaica, but took some schoolwork with me.
Schoolwork with some rum, and some sun sounded like a lot of fun, and a beautiful beach, beautiful surroundings, and a beautiful hotel all helped the cause J. I enjoyed getting away from “it” all, even if it was only for a short time. To sit in a wicker lounge chair under the canopy of a palm tree while sipping on a Bob Marley drink was extremely relaxing. To feel the heat of the sun and hear calmness of the ocean lapping onto the beach was tranquil. The sands softness between my toes while walking the beach felt like I was walking through the clouds. Stepping into the water, I felt an immediate rush from the water’s freshness. Walking in deeper the waters coolness moved up my body as I stared through the water’s clear glass to see what was on the ocean’s bottom. I came to a point where I would just sit down in the water and use the oceans soft sand as my chair. As the water, covers my shoulder’s I occasionally dip below the waterline to escape the sun. Coming back up the taste of salt overwhelms my lips, and it is just awful! There is nothing like this in Nebraska.
It was a trip about doing nothing but relaxing. Outside some schoolwork in the evening, I did nothing during the day but enjoy the pool and the beach. I wasn’t on a schedule nor did I have anywhere to be.
At the resort, the locals who worked as waiters, bartenders, and bussers were welcoming and appreciative that you chose to stay with them. Seemingly, every employee I came across asked me every day, “Are you enjoying your stay with us in Jamaica?” Are you being taken care of?” “Is this your first time to Jamaica?” Partly, because I think the locals want you back. This is a poor country and I would not be surprised if many of the employees I interacted with live in poverty, but it was difficult to tell with the smile with which they greeted you.