AKA the first real day of the next two years of my life.
After three months of training, one month of Ramadan, and two weeks of holiday, today was finally the first day of my first semester as a Peace Corps teacher.
Even so, I won’t be teaching for another week, but I got to interact with actual young humans today. It was spent giving motivation lectures to our incoming tenth grade students and introducing myself with the help of my counterparts’ translations.
Whether the students were motivated or not, my counterpart, Wawan, left the classrooms glowing and telling me all about what motivates him both as a student and teacher. As a EFL teacher and teacher trainer, my day was still a success, right?
At a point in my day that truly proved I’m being accepted, Wawan’s son through a chick at me while I was sitting at me desk. Yes, threw. Yes, a chick. As in a tiny baby chicken. It was thrown at my face as the teacher’s room erupted in laughter.
On my way out of school, feeling confident with the day’s productivity, I walked out the gate and a group of young men, a few of which were wearing my school’s uniform, began catcalling me beautiful oh-ho while laughing. I kept walking as usual, but when I heard their continued laughter, I turned myself around, climbed the hill to where they were sitting, and proceeded to introduce myself in Bahasa Indonesia while demanding a handshake from each boy.
I continued in Bahasa Indonesia to lecture them about how impolite catcalling is and to tell them I am a teacher and will be respected as such:
Would you do that to the other Ibu-Gurus?
One boy, not in uniform, got out his phone for a selfie and I held his arm down and said, still in Bahasa Indonesia, no selfies. On the day you are polite, you may have a selfie, today you were not polite.
They all pushed and laughed at each other as I walked away shaking from adrenaline and the minor success.
Whether they made fun of me when I left or not, it will hopefully keep those few people from screaming at me every day — and since we were so close to school and other students heard, maybe the news will travel.