No Grades In My Classes

No one gets a grade in Mah Jongg. Friends come to learn and their avid attention helps them become better players. Despite the lack of an actual reward from me, as their teacher, my last group of Kinston students treated me so specially you would think they were vying for a better grade.

Before I even got there Kristi got all the classes organized. Jane hosted me, calling me to inquire what I wanted for breakfast day ahead of time. She and her husband Warren had a dinner party for me one night where Molly brought a lemon pie for dessert and Mary Ann a bottle of wine. We went to Chef and the Farmer dinner the second night and Ann and Becky joined us. The comfy bed in their beautiful farm house would have been more than enough, but Jane also gave me a book before we left for our last class today.

The first day of class Lee Van arrived with stunning yellow Peony from her garden, in a vase, announcing she was vying to be teacher’s pet. Kara bought my lunch the first day. Jo bought my lunch today. Debbie made muffins on the second day and took a group picture on the last, (sadly, Kristi and Kara missed the photo.) Then while I was teaching the beginner class Debbie snuck back in and left me a gift. It was the class photo in a fabulous frame.

Suzanne announced she wanted to take any class I would teach two or three times and her sister Nancy agreed. Even previous students, Ann and Boo came by to see me, despite not being able to come to class.

All these kindnesses to me and not one of them got a better grade because of it. What I get out of teaching Mah Jongg is so much more than the people get who are learning. I appreciate their attention, thoughtful questions, kindness to each other, their curiosity, diligence, stick-to-it-ness, laughter, patience and generosity, especially to me.

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