There have been so many various false starts, new beginnings, different approaches, that I have stopped worrying too much about it, and am dealing with each lesson as it comes. There have been a number of occasions when I have almost resolved that no-one would turn up today… and then, a little late, but still, two or three are there. And there are some signs that we are forging a small group of regular attendees.
The Tuesday session has always been a little problematic, springing out of, and then adapting from, the session I attended of the Senior English class, and the lesson that came from that. There have only ever been a handful of participants, if that, but those that come seem to appreciate them, so I am happy to continue, at least for the time being. Two of my regulars had WhatsApped to say they could not come, but there was Aisha, Jaime and Ali, the latter bringing along a friend of his, Adam. Adam was very much the same as many others I have met, who have turned up almost by chance, been initially puzzled by what I was asking them to do, but then seemed to enjoy the experience. And if they are to be used as an example, I doubt that I shall see him again.
We had another visitor too, Mohammed Abin, a more senior gentleman from Iran, but a Baluchi like Aisha, so she was able to translate. He was traditionally dressed, and an unlikely attendee, but joined in well, and was clearly not shy. However, towards the end of the session, he asked if it was all right for him to leave. Of course, I said, but checked, via Aisha, that he had enjoyed the session. Some translation, again via Aisha. “Not really,” he replied, and Aisha tried to explain that he was not used to such work. I explained that this was fine, and when he left it was with good will and many smiles.
I have focused the work on another folk tale, one that I used in Lebanon, a Syrian tale originally called The Story of Luck and Fate, but which I have now christened The Story of Destiny, being a little neater. It can be performed with a small cast, but has possibilities for expansion, should numbers demand. And, since it is the story of a man going on a long journey, has application for the performers.
I was pleased that on the Thursday, we had a few more people. No Adam, as expected, and no Mohammed Abin, for obvious reasons. But it was good to see Luis, from El Salvador, who had come once before. Then, he had talked of his desire for his wife to come and join him, so it was wonderful to see that she was there too. My apologies – I forget her name – but she was a terrific addition to the class, having good English and a lively, attractive and engaged manner.
We made a good bit of progress with the script; if this group, more or less, can keep coming, we might be able to reach some sort of conclusion… but we shall see.