Sunday, May 4, 2008

Going to Class w/ Joshua at NMH (and beyond...)

i think it must be about 10 or 11 pm now in k'du.

i'm in the nmh library just going through emails and newspapers. josh is in the gym w/ his sat test, so i've been sending him calming thoughts since the morning. i'll meet him about 1 pm and we'll drive together to choate for his volleyball game at 4 pm, then up to bruce's for dinner w/ bruce & buff, i think, about 8 pm or so. then, i need to get josh back here by 10 am tomorrow (sunday) as he's got a full day student leadership training. i don't know if i'll stay here or wander back to boston...

of course, it's been great to be w/ josh here, even if it's only been a day. we met yesterday morning, after another early 5:15 am wake-up to drive to western mass from boston by 8 am.

josh & i had b'fast together, then went to his anthropology, math & american literature classes. unfortunately, the anthro class didn't happen as the kids were working on an important paper. math was over my head. while the lit, of course, hemingway, fitzgerald and faulkner was rich in ideas, nuances and the idea of the disintegration of love. heady stuff for 17 year olds (and a 54 year old...). josh was really eager and active in both the math & lit classes. he was mostly on target in the math and full of stimulating ideas in the lit class.

even though it's been quite a hurdle coming to america on his own at a young age, i feel he enjoys the stimuli of this place, the challenges and his achievements. of course, at times, it's boring w/o an urban environment nearby, and his sense of isolation away from his beloved k'du crowd. but, as we know, some of this is normal and wud happen anywhere. after all, we all love to kvetch about our lives, especially as a teenager, although adults have refined skills in this way, as well...

friday afternoon josh also went to a college fair at deerfield in the afternoon yesterday while i read 'treasure island' (i picked it up from brian's room at bruce's and immediately fell into a boyhood story i'd never read...) in the cavernous dining hall (nibbling on tunafish and potato chips).

i then went to have a long chat w/ lea emery, the head of financial aid, who we met when they whole family came together for the first time to visit nmh last summer. lea invited me to stay at her home, as the school's guesthouse was full of trustees. ('i never do this, but we feel like friends...').

last evening, i took josh, mohammed, sergio (brazil) and sebastain (the american from barcelona) to northhampton where we found a very folksy, family-run mexican restaurant for dinner and a cold-stone-like ice cream parlor (that mohammed knew about) for dessert. as you can imagine, it was totally fun in a parental way to hang w/ the 'boys in the 'hood', esps. such an int'l collection of joshua's buddies. they're really good, smart and fun kids!

mo was especially thrilled saying, 'this has made my day!'. to which i responded, 'only your day? how about the week or month?' he was telling the others, 'we should do this more often. i miss you guys!' i guess being in different dorms and not playing football together, they don't see was much of each other as regularly.

sergio, gentle, funny, w/ dark, curly hair and somewhat broken english is off to clark university in worchester, mass this fall. while sebastian grew up with american parents living in barcelona since a child. he's trilingual, it seems, english, spanish and french and feels more spanish than american. his father has written a book on pilgrimmages around the world that i ordered on amazon and writes regularly for architecural digest. a very decent, handsome, thoughtful fellow and friend.

josh & i also met w/ j's college counselor (and football coach), jim burstin. they've made a good list of colleges/universities, most of which are challenging, to say the least, to get into. (as most of the top schools are these days.) any of them would be great places, of course, to study, create life-long friends and gain insights into the larger world around him. josh wants to visit a few of these when he's in nyc before coming home, then we'll see about seeing some others in the summer or fall.

naturally, j feels under a bit of pressure, naturally, w/ the sat test today, ap test next week, the last few weeks of his 11th grade term (where the grades mean alot for college admission...) and thinking about the right college for him -- but josh seems relaively sanguine and wise about it all, at least on the outside. it's clear how much he's grown up and how maturely he views the reality of the world around him. i can feel how much this immense journey to the states has achieved w/in him.

also, many lovely and insightful compliments from sheila, lea and the nmh teachers on josh. they seem to really love and respect this guy of ours. so kudos all around to the many limbs on the leslie-chand family tree and everyone, esp. siblings ezi and leah, and josh's close kathmandu friends, for their support to joshua along the way.

i feel close to your/our world over there, even as i greatly enjoy the connections, freshness and inspiration of these american shores. i feel fortunate to be able to bounce b/n the two, now w/o (for now...) having to mortgage myself to redundant office or official meetings and games.

i feel liberated in some ways, free to explore my own life and interests. there's so much in life to learn and observe...

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