The COOLEST thing just happened to me, and I don’t even know how it happened. I’m not even 100% clear on what it was.
I received a friend request from an unknown person, which altogether is nothing new; since taking this job I have been besieged by friend requests from students of all languages, cultures, colors and countries. My friend suggestions are- nine times out of ten- people whose names I cannot pronounce, and often have never met. Students see my name associated with the name of the school and they send me friend requests, I presume for the novelty of having an American on their friends list. It’s one of the many unspoken aspects of a job that, one year into my employment, I am proud to say still comes across as pretty cool.
Obviously, this post revolves around my receiving one such friend request. While I am used to students sending me friend requests once they’ve met me or, more typically, once they’ve graduated the program and can now share party photos with me from the safety of another continent, I am not used to students sending me friend requests before they’re actually in the program as students. I had no idea that the friend request in question came from a girl who was still in her home country of Kazakhstan. Once I had accepted her request, she immediately started chatting, which was cool. She asked where I was from, how I was doing, all of the small chatter I’d expect from any student.
Then it happened.
She asked if she could call me over Facebook, a feature I was aware of but had never used. I agreed, and quickly fixed my hair in anticipation of a webcam call a la Skype. Much to my surprise, my phone rang! what ensued was the strangest, most amazing phone call I have yet to experience. After some static-laden fumbling on both ends of the line, we finally got settled into a speaking rhythm. Her English was surprisingly good, and despite her shock that I was A) 25, B) not Colombian as she had originally thought and C) School staff, not a student, the phone call went over rather well. She asked me about the school, the host families, the campus and the students. She already knows (or at least, knows the names of) the other Russian and Kazakh students living on campus with me, and she will be here in either June or September. She asked to call me again, and I agreed, because hey, if you’re offered a phone call from a country 12 hours ahead of you, you take it!
I’m still not 100% sure why she contacted me- I can only imagine it was to learn more about the school- but I’m glad she did. And now, I can look forward to meeting her when she gets here!