In 2007 I had the honour of working for Language Studies International in their San Diego school teaching during their summer sessions.
I met extraordinary people like Rachel Ishiguru, the Director of Studies, who became a mentor for me. The admin staff were helpful and nurturing and were an example of cooperation and efficiency. The teachers were all enthusiastic, fun and committed educators. I saw that it was possible for a school to do good work, for teachers to work TOGETHER and for students to have fun and learn at the same time!
This model of teamwork and professionalism gave me the courage to resign from my teaching position in my Italian private language school and lead me to try and create something new by working for a training agency as a consultant.
The director of Formetica Training Agency, Paola Martelli, is vibrant and forward-thinking and she has allowed me to work in a new way, and for that I am grateful.
I believe that we make the world with our thoughts and this empowers me to think differently, to think positively, to look for the best in others and strive to be the best I can be.
My work is important to me. This is why I returned to university. I want to be better.
If we have one life only, this one has been about discovering how to have fun and love my day to day existence. It has taken me far away from my family and all things familiar and asked the people who love me to let me go and do my own thing. The definition and achievment of happiness for one may cause harm or pain or loss to another. And that is the theme of my course this year: How our pursuits affect others. And ulitmately, what that means.
As I go forward, I am challenged to see my views in a new light and to try to open my mind and heart. Sometimes this is uncomfortable.
I saw the documentary maker Ken Burns in an interview talking about his PBS film, 'The National Parks: America's Best Idea'. He celebrates American history and all its flaws and sees our challenges as the very fiber of what makes a Democracy interesting and complicated.
When I am frustrated by the things I want to change in myself or my world, I always return to Rilke. He wrote, "...learn to love the questions themselves."
Going to school brings more questions and so, more to love.
Happy Happiness Sunday, friends and readers. Stephanie and Martin, Lucca, Italy