One of our students came in, he was waiting for a friend of his. He went to sit down on a bench in the reception area, and we made some small talk, until we reached that moment in the conversation when the pleasantries had come and gone. There is always that turning point, when you can smile sheepishly and turn back to whatever you were doing, making the obvious indication that the conversation was just small talk and nothing more, or you can continue, not knowing where it will go. Even though it was late and just about time to lock up, I leaned back in my chair and blew right past that tedious moment.
I asked the student about his upcoming transfer to another language school, and we talked about what he hoped to gain there. From there we discussed a certain skill area which is especially challenging for students from his language background, and I opened up a website on a topic that I thought would be useful and interesting for him. He told me how much he was looking forward to going home for the holidays, and told me about his siblings and their experience learning English. He expressed shock and interest when I told him about my experience as an only child, and we agreed happily that it is just as important to choose the family you surround yourself with, rather than to be born into it. He told me that even though he was transferring, he considered our school to be home, and us to be part of that family.
Shortly, his friend arrived and as he stood to leave he turned back to say "Ava, thank you for the discussion." I thanked him in return, and we said our goodbyes. I drove home with a happy heart.