Traveling.

12 09 2007

Before I knew it, the tears were welling up in my eyes and my throat was tight trying to choke out the words I was trying to say about Brazil. I was in my classroom with Mandy talking about our time here and suddenly I was shaking my head with confusion about where the tears were coming from. She’d said to me, “Maybe you feel like you haven’t had enough of Brazil yet,” and then…the tears.  She was right, of course, because I’ve only been here for a year. And how could I possibly think I’ve had “enough” of Brazil when I’ve not even scratched the surface of this country? I’ve stayed within the same 8-hour driving radius for a year which altogether is probably 3% of what this country has to offer. All of the places I’ve visited so far–Rio, Bombinhas, Itatiaia, Sao Paulo, Trindade just to name a few–have made me feel adventurous and relaxed and excited and alive. How is it possible I would want to leave a place that fills me with such life?

Today I was feeling jealous. I read an article in the NY Times about really smart people at MIT who are working together to invent things to help people in impoverished countries make their lives easier. The article mentioned several “professionals” in various industries and I began to wonder what it was that I was “professional” about. What is it that I love more than anything? What is it that, if given the chance, I would do for the rest of my life with passion? Besides reading and eating, of course, I couldn’t think of anything. I’m not a scientist, I’m not into technical stuff, I’m not one of the Great Thinkers, there’s no profession out there on the planet that makes me want to study and work to earn a Ph.D. and be deemed a “professional.” And then I thought of travel. If there were a Ph.D in travel, I’d be in school for life. So why would I want to stop traveling here in Brazil? I suppose it all depends on your definition of “traveling,” because we all are quite literally traveling along the course of our lives. I think I just prefer to be able to speak Portuguese along the course of mine.  (And now I am thinking back to a year ago when I was fumbling around with words and self-esteem about Portuguese. And now a year later…?)

Yesterday as I was writing that post about the upcoming decision, Dennis called. And because I can’t keep my mouth shut as my mind is processing something, I told him I’d been thinking about staying on here a third year. The hurt in his voice, or the concern in his voice, was palpable and I regretted telling him anything. There’s part of me that wants to include him in my decision making, and then there’s the other part that says it’s only fair for me to make the decision on my own.

Today we talked again and I told him I felt bad about putting my indecision upon him yesterday and he told me, “You need to make the decision that’s right for you, that’s going to make you feel happy. You’ve made sacrifices for people in the past and now you need to make the decision for yourself.” This is probably Reason #429 Why Dennis Is Amazing. I guess the point is that I have a decision to make and either way I’m going to a good thing: either I travel back to the States to my family and to Dennis and to work, or I stay here and get to travel in Portuguese a little while longer.

Quem sabe? Vamos ver.

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13 responses

12 09 2007
Sofy

Well, I have doubts. Lots. And I need you to answer them all. Every single one, Ms. Coggio, don’t skip over anything or else I’ll tie you to your desk forever and never let you go to the States. Not even to visit.

If you go:
Will you really go back to the States, or will you teach somewhere else? Will you keep this blog? Will you make another one? Will you keep in touch? Will you visit or will you be like all the other nice teachers, and promise to visit but never really do it? Will you like your new students better than you like us?

If you stay here:
Will you stay a fourth year so that you can be my little bro’s teacher? He asked me to “beg her” to stay.
Be our class advisor next year? And keep teaching Advisory? To us, and not the future 8th graders?

-Sofy

12 09 2007
ginacoggio

Like I said, my dear, we’ll see. I have no idea. But I can guarantee–GUARANTEE–that there’s no one on the planet who will ever replace your class in my heart. I promise you that from the bottom of my heart.

(And about staying a 4th year…? Don’t push it. I’m just now contemplating a 3rd.)
(And Advisory? You won’t even have that in 9th grade!)
(And hug your brother for me.)

12 09 2007
Sofy

You don’t know if you’ll keep in touch?! Or visit?! You’re unsure if you’re ever gonna see us again after you leave?! How dare you?! If you might not ever come to Brazil again, then I need you to stay. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. x100000000000000

Okay. When (if) you decide to stay a third year, I’ll start asking you about the fourth.
Advisory – Who cares? We need your [advisement? advice? advisory? advise?] (whatev, you get my point)!
I just gave him a hug right now.

-Sofy

12 09 2007
Sofy

This is Sofy’s brother, Danny:
Hi Ms. Coggio, so, about that hug…
I was going to ask why you wanted Sofy to hug me
but she just cleared that up for me.
Now, I want to beg you to stay in EAC so that you become MY
teacher. I want you to be my teacher because my brother and sister say very nice stuff about you and you seem very cool.
Ok. So this is me… begging.
PLEASE, PLEASE STAY IN EAC (SOFY WANTED ME TO PUT “BRAZIL” BUT I PREFER EAC) byebye.

13 09 2007
ginacoggio

Oh, you two are so sweet. You’ve started my day off on such a good note! 🙂

14 09 2007
Sofy

Yes, I know we are. But you’re avoiding my question. You’re eventually going to leave Brazil, and when you do, don’t you want to email or visit or at least keep a blog? How come?
You know, I’ll email you even if you don’t write back. That would just be mean, btw. I swear I’ll write like twenty lines of swear words (actually, I’m searching for swear words right now to see if I can actually write twenty lines of swear words. I’ve only got four lines…but I’ll get there!) just to get you to answer “Sofy, don’t say that!”. And listen here Ms.Coggio, you better say “Sofy, don’t say that!”. You better answer emails, and keep in touch, and blog. You better visit, and you better not forget us. Or else I’ll forget you, and I really don’t wanna do that. Like somebody said once, I’m gonna tell my kids about you.
I won’t really because I’m probably not gonna have kids, but if I did, I’d tell them about you!
And if your answer has the word “sweet” in it, I’m gonna send you my twenty lines of curses as soon as I actually have them.

-Sofy

15 09 2007
ginacoggio

Sorry, Sofy. I didn’t mean to not answer the question. OF COURSE, and that goes without saying, I will keep in touch with you, and YES, I will still have a blog. Things will be different if I go because I won’t be able to see you everyday, but of course I will stay in touch. And I’ll come back to see you all graduate. Sound good?

15 09 2007
ginacoggio

(And I did not use the word “sweet” so you can save your list of bad words for another time.)

17 09 2007
Sofy

Sounds awesome.

And you know I would never send the bad words to you, really! Maybe to another teacher, but you dont (okay, I had a sudden forget-y thing and I can’t remember if it’s “don’t” or “dont”. So it’s probably “don’t”) deserve it.
Also, I only have four and a half lines. But I haven’t really counted those that have “er” at the end…or “mother” at the beginning. So maybe I’ll start putting those in. It’ll probably be easier.

But still, only 4 1/2 lines of “basic” swear words?! Geez, what kind of terrible, polite world do we live in?! Do we really want our children growing up in this kind of environment?!

-Sofy

17 09 2007
ginacoggio

Um, Sofy, are you, like, suggesting we get MORE swear words? So our children can live in a world with MORE than 4.5 lines of swear words?

17 09 2007
Sofy

Exactly.

And again you’re sounding teenager-y. Since when do you say ” ,like, ” ?

18 09 2007
ginacoggio

Um, like, all the time.

18 09 2007
Sofy

Sure, Ms.Coggio. Sure. *rolls eyes*

-Sofy

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