Tag Archives: IKEA

I Hate You, IKEA: What Moving Teaches Me

3 Aug
uploaded to Flickr by yamzombie

uploaded to Flickr by yamzombie

Only after deep reflection and with considerable guilt can I write the following confession: I hate you, IKEA. Yes, you offer accessible design at incredible prices, and without you I would never be able to decorate my apartment or organize my classroom drawers. I will even confess to an unhealthy devotion to your meatballs and Prieselbeeren sauce.

But, for purely selfish reasons, I am done with you (for a week at least). I cannot stomach another turn of your fjborking screws or another frustrated thumbing-through of the pictographs you call directions. In other words, I have grown tired of the minutia connected with moving.

I am not complaining. REALLY, I am not. The upheaval associated with an Intercontinental move is a small price to pay for the wonderful opportunity my wife and I have received. In July we moved back to a small town outside Frankfurt, Germany, where we lived and taught prior to our time in Boston. It has been a homecoming in many ways. We return to incredible friends, a lovely little apartment, a lifestyle that brings a sense of adventure to even the most mundane tasks, and, yes, the beer is not bad either. We are more than a little happy.

The First BeerI begin work at my new (old) school next week, and as I put away my physical toolbox and dust off my metaphorical one, I have been thinking about how this move will influence my life as a teacher:

Remember, be patient. I like to think of myself as a pretty chilled out man, but the ongoing “to do” list connected to a big move reminds me that I make significantly more progress when I slow down and relax. Despite my best efforts, I still struggle mightily to speak German. I have great support systems here, but I try to do as much as I can on my own. In order to connect my satellite dish, figure out which section of grass is o.k. for my dog to use, buy a new car, make chit-chat with a neighbor, or do just about anything else I need to do after stepping out the front door, I have to patiently communicate using my caveman German and highly refined Charades skills. Not actually being an idiot but sounding like one for the majority of my day is incredibly frustrating, but I know I will be more empathetic to my students’ struggles throughout the school year as a result. Patience is, indeed, a virtue, in life and in the classroom.

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