Work Related

This one is for Amanda because I finally decided to write about something that happens at work.

There are many things that are different from my jobs in the same field in the states and there are also many differences, as you would suspect. However, in the last couple weeks, one of the differences has caught me off guard and made me think about how human relations are difference between countries like the US (Canada, UK, etc.) and countries like Mexico (Spain, France, other Latin American countries, etc.).

A couple weeks ago, my students started kissing me.

You see, all girls kiss other girls they know or meet, on the cheek (once, lean left). Girls also kiss other boys they know or meet, on the cheek. Boys do not kiss other boys, but may give a very masculine one or two-pat hug if they know each other well.

So being a girl, and getting to know some of my students better than others, some of them have started to kiss me.

For some reason, it is shocking to me, and while I rarely get faked out in social settings, I have misread some of the students leaning in for the kiss.

I was ready for the handshake; I had handshake-relationships with students in the states. But, under no circumstances did the handshake lead to a kiss on the cheek.

On one hand, it’s very nice and I know that they feel they know me better, now that I have been working with them for a month or so. On the other hand, I can’t seem to mentally prepare and I just keep feeling awkward, then I hesitate and they think I don’t want to kiss them, and then they hesitate once I recover and it just ends up being weird.

Also, they are the youngest people I am kissing these days. Everyone else (our friends) are long out of school and are much more confident people.

The students seem young and insecure, except for one, who is very exuberant and practically grabs me by the shoulders and kisses me. SHE is also more mature than some of my other students (her parents don’t live in Guadalajara and she lives alone, she has a very different style of dress, she is doing different types of studies), she has a LOT of confidence.

I like that my students are feeling more close to me, I just have to prepare myself for the lean.

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7 Responses to “Work Related”

  1. Emilie Says:

    Well, as a french kisser, I can add my comment ! In France we kiss each other all the time, in some region it is 1 kiss, 2 kiss… and here where I live it is 3 ! and you never know by which side you must begin !
    But I liked American hugs !!
    And also, this is quite strange your students kiss you, because if I well understood you are a teacher right ? Maybe they are little students ?

  2. A2 Says:

    Sorry but in 8 years living in the States I never got a hug… well Della does not count.

  3. aj burke Says:

    I remember this sensation from Chile. Does take a while to get used to. But, the kissing tends to lead to invitations to their mothers’ houses for dinner, so perhaps that thought will get you more in the spirit and enthusiastic about the kissing.

  4. aj burke Says:

    Emilie, I thought it was only the foreigners who didn’t know how to perform the French kisses in the different regions! It makes me feel better that even French people don’t know what they’re doing. 🙂

  5. deeb Says:

    I’m not sure I’m interested in going to my students’ houses, in fact, I’m pretty sure I would politely decline.

    That situation happened to a friend of ours and he politely declined the dinner invitation and later the student invited him to the movies!

    em: these are University students

  6. Cali Says:

    Actually I think I have hurt a few of my student’s feelings because I am not a very huggy person and I was a little shocked when they started hugging all the time. I am more comfy with the side hug (a la Mr. Bennett) especially because many of my students are at an awkward height if you know what I mean.

  7. aj burke Says:

    Whaa? You would decline the opportunity to try lots and lots of abuelitas’ home cooking? I thought you might do anything to get into these Mexicans’ kitchens and see what they’re making.

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