I pretty much live for moments when I have to hold my breath to keep from laughing, and instead bust out a “teacher smile”, trying to act appropriate. Yesterday I had one of those moments. My students were writing speeches to recite for the King’s Birthday Celebration. As a writing teacher, I try to be very encouraging of my students’ creative sparks. Yesterday, as I was reading one of the student’s speeches, I decided to run it by a veteran teacher to see if it was standard. It looked something like this:
“I am very excited to be celebrating the King’s birthday. I saw him at the swimming pool and on the basketball court. He has a nice body and I like how he plays. He came to our school and meditated with us. I want him to come again.”
My mind flashed to the poster I had painted and hung in my classroom, which reads, "Honesty Is The Best Policy." So... the king has a nice bod, in case you were wondering.
In celebration of His Majesty, I wore my new kira. It is a floor length, wrap-around skirt and a jacket-like top. I have been informed that the small spot on your neck, where the collarbones come together to create a small dimple, is sorta sexy, along with maybe even a little ankle now and then.
The new look brought me back to Easter morning as a kid, reaching up under my itchy dress to adjust tights that kept falling down to my knees. I squirmed, readjusted, and may have cursed under my breath once or twice as I walked to school to celebrate His Majesty’s Birthday.
My kira was on, but I had forgotten to buy pins to close it over my tank top! I held the top closed hoping someone would have a pin to loan me. I arrived to school disheveled, but with a smile, hoping it would hide the hot mess underneath.
There is a couple that works at my school, who have a two-month-old baby. They speak very little, but their soft demeanor is gentle and welcoming. They are the type of people who would possibly go unnoticed in the states, but I find their presence nice to be around. They have been welcoming in their own way, such as when the mother and I shared a quiet teatime in the sun, while she nursed her baby.
Today, the father looked at me in my scoogi wobin attire, and told me in the most sincere tone that I was looking "very beautiful in my new kira". I had no choice but to say "kaadinchey la" and think to myself, “haven’t figured it out yet, but at least I tried.” Moments later, his wife walked in with one of the sixth grade students and the two of them made me presentable.
In the sea of kiras and ghos that walked the streets to celebrate His Majesty’s Birth Anniversary, I felt almost like part of the crew until a young passerby whispered to a friend, "chillip in a kira”.