Third Grade Throwback!
(and I don't mean the softball!)
The first few weeks of language school were not so bad. I will not go near the word easy but I will attempt less complicated? Today marks the halfway point through my first 6-week module. I now have about 5 times the amount of vocabulary, verb conjugations, forms (which are different from our English ones) 4 hours at 8 in the morning, and a teacher who has not budged once to speak English even on break! With my face planted in the dictionary, the two notebooks in front of me, or my coffee cup, it is really difficult to keep up visually. Today I hit a wall.
Most people who know me know that I have a mild strain of Albinism. I am mightily blessed in the fact that I have been able to accomplish so much despite the statistics that doctors gave my parents 25 years ago. However, my vision is always a struggle especially in the academic setting and has served as a massive insecurity in the past. Today however I feel that a new level of freedom was reached and a major step taken on my part. This week has been difficult because as usual, I try to compensate visually by copying someone's notes, getting materials from the teacher later, or asking a question. However I do not go to school in my town, cannot see well enough to just "look on" to someone else's notes, and I do not know how to formulate my questions in German! So.. the conundrum: I have never asked to be placed in front of a class. I have never wanted to stand out or be noticeably receiving any help or aid for this weakness. On our 15 minute break halfway through the 4 hour class, a few of my new friends in the class approached me and asked if I was ok because I did not seem myself. I just decided to be honest and tell them that I could not keep up with the rest of the class, could not see what was being written on the boar, missing half of the notes, and embarrassed to ask questions or tell the professor. They could not believe I had not said anything sooner and immediately grabbed Frau Bangkhert so we all could talk about it. Humiliated that she might think I was using a physical handicap as a crutch for not doing well in her class, I explained to her my situation and was surprised when the tears unexpectedly accompanied my request to sit closer and have my sweet friend Nageejah sit with me. (She told me to call her Nudge) So Nudge is a tiny little girl from Singapore who has married a German and now lives here. She is quite good in this course because it is not her first time. For some reason she sits next to me and each time I answer a question wrong I wonder why she does. But she is such a help and was my partner and half my courage to sit in the middle and front of that small classroom today. Who would foresee that in in Bad-Krotzingen Germany in a German Integration class full of Muslims that I would feel the nearness and heart of God as I trust that when I am weak, He is strong. And know that if I am faithful He will use the weak things of the world to lead the strong? Crazy.
The title really has no symbolic meaning especially in light of the fact that NEVER in my 20-something years of schooling have I done what I did today... and in doing so, I felt like a child in grade school- thrown back to al of the days where i pretended that I could see and function when I had no clue what was going on. How much more could I and WOULD i have done had I not so much pride standing in my way to ask for help? All of those years that I could have just been myself instead of drowning in insecurities that no one noticed but myself?! Because by the time you are 26 you have of course realized that you are not so important that everyone is thinking about you, how silly you might look, or heaven forbid- how you FEEL! Nope, I once again was reminded by my best friend Pride that i am not actually that important :)
2 Corinthians 12:8-10