Every morning, on my bike ride to my middle school, I pause in front of an elementary school to chat with the elderly crossing guard. The length of those conversations is determined by neither I nor Mr. Nishikawa, but rather a third party: the traffic light. If the light is green, our conversation is a simple, "Good Morning." Otherwise we max out at a whopping 45 seconds of chatter, before the light turns and I'm off.
Over the past two years, we have had hundreds of miniature conversations and I have come to learn quite a bit about Mr. Nishikawa. I know he knows all the adjectives to describe the weather, probably our most exhausted conversation topic, I know he goes golfing once a week, I know he lives nearby with his wife, and I know he looks forward to holding out his little yellow flag to make sure the elementary school kids make it safely across the street. I also know that he is the grandfather of a brother and sister pair at my school. Sometimes he chats to me at school functions and blows everyone away. Little do they know that our conversations often go like this...
Him: "Oooo Good morning! The weather is very fine today."
Me: "Good morning! Yes it is! What are you going to do today?"
Him: "Oooookkkk, hahahaha."
2/10 for comprehension.
Other times it goes like this...
Him: "Good morning!"
Me: "Good morning! How are you today?"
Him: "Good, good, very fine. You are very happy today! Beautiful smile always."
10/10 for comprehension and an extra 5 points for flattery.
Well played Mr. Nishikawa.
Last Monday he really blew me away when he handed me a letter. A total change up from the usual red-light, green-light conversations. I thanked him and told him I would read it at school. I laughed out loud when I opened it at my desk. He had written out his plans for the next few days and wanted to make sure I understood that was going out of town.
How very thoughtful of him.
Mr. Nishiwaka, with his smile, a slight limp, and little yellow safety flag, puts a smile on my face every. single. morning. He makes me feel a part of this community with something as simple as a genuine morning smile.
What a gem.
Good Morning!!! See you!!!
Must Read: Washington joins Maine and Maryland in endorsing same sex marriage...The Guardian.
Google Search: Remember Remember the 5th of November.
Tune: 22 By Taylor Swift.
Accomplishment: Creating a helpful worksheet for my students practicing writing composition.
Obsessions: New nail polish.