Well, if you are reading this then something has piqued your curiosity and you want to know more. Fair enough! But what to write, without boring you to tears, or sounding pretentious? If I wrote: “Hi, I am an outgoing person with excellent communication skills and a sincere love of teaching”, how many seconds would pass before you projectile vomit and never visit our little corner of the internet again?
“What I am”, or “what I do”, or “who I am” seem to mean different things to different people. Some folks will give you a long list of descriptive adjectives. Others at least in part, define themselves by their careers and/or academic histories. Some may feel compelled to describe themselves with some form of humanizing, “break the ice” so-to-speak, personal anecdote. I guess, I’ll just start off with my name. Okay? We good? Hello, my name is Lincoln Morffi. (Read: “A Rose by any other name…” for the whole “Li” explanation thing). I should perhaps also add that as my favorite T-Shirt reads: “I was Made in America with Cuban Parts!”
In the past, I taught as a private tutor and slowly but surely got to really liking it. Later, I had the opportunity to sharpen my skills volunteering in Thailand and teaching at a language academy in Spain. This is how I grew to really appreciate and love teaching. However, I find it to be a poor meter of measurement for describing myself – more so, as I fell into teaching rather than actively planned it.
I did mention that there are those that use their academic histories, but that’s kinda’ showy. What I can say is that I loved college. If I could have been paid for attending university, I’d probably still be there. I enjoyed being a student and I was fortunate to have excellent, incredibly interesting professors. I took many history, geology, geography and language classes, but hadn’t thought much about a career. Now, under most circumstances this is a really bad idea! All I can state in my defense is that I did construct a form of game-plan in my head, but kept it open and intentionally flexible.
So I never set out to be a teacher (let alone an English teacher) or study education. I sort of figured out early that life would chug along with the occasional “curve ball” and I would have to be ready for it. That came in the form of an illness that interrupted my academic career, scared the #%@! out of me, likely played a hand in the loss of certain friendships and was one of the best things that ever happened! It made me prioritize and reevaluate. In a very real way, I saved myself a lot of time and hardship by not chasing illusions or things I previously thought were important.
So what I can say ABOUT ME is that I learned the importance of balancing and prioritizing without being rigid or paralyzed by fear. Because no-matter what you do, the “curve balls” will always come. With that in mind, I was able to deal with what I had to deal with and finish university at the ripe old age of thirty-four! Making plans to live abroad was a no-brainier for me and I left for Europe two months after graduation. To be quite honest, I was perplexed by the reaction of many. “You’re going to move to Spain?” Or “Why? All your friends and family are here!” Or “You’re gonna’ miss hanging out with your friends in Brooklyn.” The tones were often self-assured.
My only response to that now is the realization that nothing was lost and many things were gained. While I lived in my town I saw friends and family with almost the same frequency as I did my first years in Spain. Over a decade visits have become more far apart, but most of my familial bonds have only strengthened. Friends too! They are still out there and doing great, themselves! Ironically, many friends have also moved away as well. So I was grateful that some tough times in my youth and my twenties really prepared me to be a decisive person (never came naturally) and back it up by planning (always hated planning). Knowing what I don’t want has always helped me out more than thinking about what I don’t have. So I won’t bore you with the whole “glass half-empty, half-full thing” and just hope that you enjoy what we have to offer.