Today was a good day. In my last class of the week, I have this low-level English class. But the students and I get along really well. Two have been my students for the whole 3+ years I've been teaching. One is pretty new and the other has been an on again off again student. It's a rather random mixture of people, but for the most part we have a good atmosphere.
One of the ways I try to connect with my students is about sharing various parts of my life with them, not just my thoughts on religion and English. My thinking is that if they know me as a person, they are more willing to listen to why I love God.
So today was a sign of progress for me with this group of students. Usually my students give me a lot of encouragement. They like me, so they only want to tell me things they think I want to hear. If I point out one of my faults or something, they are quick to gloss over it. Don't make waves is one of the cardinal rules of Japan it seems. But for me it's a bit frustrating. I don't want to be fed "sugar" all the time. I want truth, vegetables if you will. But most of the people I know here, just want to make me happy for that moment.
But tonight was wonderful. I had a student feel comfortable enough in the relationship to give me his honest opinion in the mater we were talking about. This rather shocked the other three students, who quickly tried to gloss over his words. But I was really happy to have someone speak their true opinion, even if it was one I might not want to hear.
When that happens, I feel like the relationship has moved to a deeper connecting place. I now have more confidence in his words, and I respect the things he says to me a little more. (now this doesn't mean I'm going to blindly believe anything he tells me. It just means I respect him more.)
I guess one of the things I value most in relationships is the ability to be open and honest. To be able to speak truth, and not have it ruin the relationship. I desire this kind of relationship with God, and with other people. Most of the time I can't have it. But sometimes I can catch glimpses of true relationships. That is the most encouraging thing for me.
So there's my strangeness of the day. I'm encouraged by hearing not so encouraging words. :-D It's a good day!
Anyway, the pictures have nothing to do with the post, but here are some more pictures from the park I took a couple of weeks back.