10) PANDA CUB
December 23rd - my shadowing period with Panda Cub Academy came to an end. I'd been invited back to teach full time at the school, and to develop the art and music curriculum for the panda cubs. I was elated. That day, Holiday cards had come pouring in. I wanted share one here: There is something about a carefully lettered (wobbly and crayoned) name that makes me tear up a bit. Yesterday morning, J came up to me, uncharacteristically shy. But his ever present grin made an appearance when he peeked up and me and handed me this card. Laoshi, he said. I have a 卡 (card) for you! ... And then he dashed away. In love...
While in the twilight hours of 2014 one road opened, the dawning rays of 2015 opened another door: a job with Duke's Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP). An opportunity to travel, but more importantly, a chance to be on a diverse and talented team, traveling between two countries that raised me, and a chance to build programming with for students - like the type I worked with while with Hua Dan - who first inspired me on my path in education and art in education. I find myself at a crossroads, desperately wishing I could do both, but knowing (unless I can split myself like a starfish) I can't. But it's good to have a choice. And regardless of which one I make - I know this: In my time working at Panda Cub Academy, I've been inspired many times over in my wish to write and illustrate for the children who I've met (and will continue to meet). Regardless of where my final decision goes, I am *committed* to providing joy (and quality edu-art) to even if I'm no longer physically present... *
* Ended up making this into video letters!