From Downward to Upward Facing Dog

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThis post has nothing to do with yoga. I just like that for most yoga poses, there is an opposite pose to align the body in perfect balance.

Over a week ago, some students left campus after school by scaling a wall behind the soccer pitch. Their destination was the McDonald’s across the street–across an intersection of heavy traffic in both directions. What am I saying? Every intersection in Indonesia fits this description.

The boys were caught by the security guards. Parents were contacted. Apology letters with the subject line, “Escape!” were written to homeroom teachers. Appropriate exits were pointed out. Phrases like, “squashed liked a bug” were used as warnings. A few individuals involved may have turned on each other and lies were called out.

In any case, the teachers’ hopes were that lessons were learned. Care was taken. Messages received.

Today after school, I walked many of those former escapees across the same intersection, after school–magical Indonesian hand gesture of palm out that stops traffic in an inexplicable frogger-like way. We were headed up the street to purchase some items for a fundraiser. Only, this time the students had their parents’ permission. They were walking with a teacher. They were going to a grocery store.

They loved it! They relished this opportunity because, for many of them, this was their first time walking to Giant (the name of our grocery store) as they need only to contact their driver by iPhone or Blackberry otherwise.

Some girls involved with the fundraiser went along. As we set out, glances were exchanged when someone stated, “No McDonald’s. So bad!”

I replied, “It wasn’t the McDonald’s but the escaping, guys.”

“Miss, eating McDonald’s too much is also bad, ya.”

“Good point.”

Down. Up. This is a slice of life in a middle school teacher’s day.


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in international teaching, life and culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to From Downward to Upward Facing Dog

  1. Julie says:

    Enjoyed your post! Amazing the risks kids will take without fully realizing the potential consequences.

    • jaclynfre says:

      On the flip side, they loved walking with a teacher so I also think that although the “caper” aspect of escaping the walls of safety is always alluring in middle school, they also appreciate when an adult is willing to spend time outside of the regular schedule with them. It was a sweet counter-experience all around.

  2. Karen Wlaker says:

    Jackie, You have a way of making even the most mundane experiences come to life. You should write a book!! 🙂

  3. Love the description of crossing the street–the palm out–what wonderful slice of life.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thanks Brian! It’s still a wonder to me that cars slow down without shouting or horns blaring or WTH bitterness of any kind for pedestrians who step into the middle of heavy traffic. I guess, otherwise, no one would be able to cross the road, ever, in Indonesia.

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