Many of you know that I am a teacher in my non-writing time. You may also know that teaching is a highly time-consuming / life-consuming job! I am fortunate enough to have a part-time teaching position, which means that teaching isn't all-consuming (well, most of the time!). But it does take a lot of energy and dedication to be a teacher, whether for a full day or part of a day, which is what makes moments like these so special...
Earlier this week my matric class came in like they always do: almost late, greeted in a hurry, sat down immediately to do the "do now" (a quick question we have at the beginning of most lessons to help focus them on the subject). After we went over the answer and I was walking back to my desk, the entire class stood up. This doesn't ever happen, so I wondered if someone had given them a "talking-to" about being polite and standing to greet teachers at the beginning of a lesson, or something... But then they all started singing/clapping this vibey little happy birthday song! It was gorgeous!
And then one of them came up to me with this mug. (If you've forgotten all your maths, then you may be confused by the "pies we shared" (as in the number pi) and "all the irrational moments" (as in irrational numbers).
A note on the "Mah" in "Thank you Mah and happy birthday": I teach at a private girls' boarding school in South Africa where most of the girls are Zulu home-language speakers. Because all the girls have to board, and a number of the teachers stay on campus too, there is a "family-like" feel to the place. So traditionally (and this is a tradition that's been around for many years - the school is 143 years old this year!) all the women teachers are called Mah (as in mother) and the students are called members (as in members of a family).