Another school year is upon me, and I have to say I am really enjoying most of my classes this year, I feel like I am hitting my stride in a variety of ways. Teaching 1984 and Hamlet at the same time has been possibly the best combination for me on a personal level with Hamlet being my favourite Shakespearean text, and 1984, my favourite novel. But who wants to hear about my job? Yeah, no one! So onward to life...
Many years ago, three to be exact, when I discovered I would be living in Christchurch, I was leery because of the earthquakes. Upon arrival though I discovered that the imminent danger had passed, for now. I started to feel like I was not truly experiencing CHCH unless I too experienced an earthquake. And I finally did, in June or July of 2013. A tiny little tremor, but enough to be felt. I would experience many more, but I still felt a bit of a poser with friends and neighbours having lived through the real carnage, even knowing people who had not survived. Could I really claim to have experienced an earthquake? Also, should I really be seeking such an experience given all that Christchurchians had endured?
Fast forward nearly three years and I have a new appreciation for those who lived through the February earthquakes. On Valentine's day, we were privy to a 5.9 earthquake, that lasted long enough for me to be able to dart around the house to make sure Clara, who had just gone down fro a nap, was ok and that nothing was falling on her. This is about 20 times longer than any previous "earthquake" I had experienced. The house was definitely shaking, things fell off the wall. And poor Brynn, panicked from the noise and the site of her father dashing to check on her sister, was a bit scared and started crying. As if symbolically the B letter of ABC (each representing our daughters) came crashing down from its perch above the living room entrance. The aftershocks that continued afterword did not help this much. I feel like I can now say I have experienced a proper earthquake, and I am humbled. I could not imagine what it must have been like at the time of the real big ones, nor the aftershocks that continued, I am told, for months after the February 2011 quake.
So thanks nature, for giving me a taste of what Christchurch has endured, and also teaching me the all important lesson to be careful what you wish for. I do not wish for anything more than what I experienced on this day.
Happily married to my beautiful wife Stephanie, and proud father of three beautiful girls, Aurora, Brynn and Clara. Master student, working in South America as a Social and English teacher: writing when I find time.