I like to think that life is best lived for the surprises, and my summer in Mauritius has so far been no exception. My only guarantee here is that there are no guarantees. Just one rule exists: things are most likely to change when you think you’ve got it all figured out.
For all the unpleasant shocks, however, I was satisfyingly surprised today. This afternoon marked the beginning of my journalism class’ main phase, where the students will learn to write articles substantial enough to be included in our weekly newspaper. As a leader and a teacher, I was slow getting off the ground; my students seemed disengaged and reluctant during the first few days. But, for whatever reason, they truly came alive today. I was left speechless after they each presented their selected article topics. I had been expecting topics typical for the average high school student: sports, music, video games. Instead, I listened to pitches about domestic violence, youth unemployment, child labor, and online bullying.
I had assumed that because they spoke English as second language, they would be unwilling to think outside the box or grapple with uncomfortable topics. But you know what they say about assuming… The point is, I was completely wrong. These are the most intelligent, capable, creative students I have met so far in Mauritius. They are hungry to understand and improve—the true mark of excellent learners and, in my opinion, excellent people. And in turn, they motivate me. I have not felt this way in a long time, and it’s all thanks to the incredible people who show up everyday and put up with my talking.
Let’s just say I’m looking forward to the surprises they have in store for me.