Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was sitting on the living room floor around 8pm last night, nursing Simon and enjoying the breeze coming in the window. Francis was outside mowing the lawn, and the rapid clicking of our push mower was the only sound I could hear, except for one or two cars driving past the house. It was quiet and lovely and sleepy and perfect.

And then...

"Mr. Kwok!! Mr. Kwok, is that you?"

Huh? That voice. It was so... adolescent.

"Guys, that's Mr. Kwok, behind the bushes!"

Is this actually happening?
"Hey Mr. Kwok! Are you mowing?"

No, definitely not happening. Oh wait, yes it is. Dang.

"Chit chat, yadda yadda, blah blah blah..."

I peeked out the window, and there were at least half a dozen teenagers in our driveway. I say at least because it was quite dark, but I counted six for sure. I'm fairly certain there were more, however. They stuck around for about five minutes, just shooting the breeze with my husband.

Now here's what I'm wondering: There are only about two weeks left until these kids go back to school (they start late here - the 8th). In what universe do teenagers go out of their way to chat with a teacher during the last two weeks of their precious summer vacation? I cannot imagine ever, ever, ever having done that in my youth. I cannot imagine even having the nerve to walk onto my teacher's property and strike up a casual conversation at any time.

So are things really so different now than they were 17 years ago? Or are things just so different here in our funny little village?

Or perhaps the difference is that I never had a teacher like Mr. Kwok. A.K.A. Mr. K-walk. The teacher who showed off his mad break-dancing, guitar-playing, song-writing and singing skills all in the same school talent show.

The guy who let his students style his hair and then take this picture while practicing for yearbook shots:

Okay, so maybe I would have walked into his driveway...


Anonymous said...

In approx 15 years when your children are asking for tatoos andn piercings, want to dye their hair freaky colors and stress you out to the max by not abiding by curfews, I will personally show them that picture. And perhaps, if I were to talk to the right person, I might even be able to find one of you equally as flattering. Let me see...who should I call first ?

Elena said...

Funny, I would have walked into my teacher's driveway ... but definitely not if he had been as young and cool as Mr. Kwok. (I would have hidden in the bushes.) Mr. Wilson - I would have walked into his driveway. Unfortunately, I think my mom told him that during a parent-teacher interview.

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Thinking back to Oxford, I think I would have walked into any teachers driveway. High school - only the music teachers!!

Your husband ROCKS!!!!!