BRAVE NEW WORLD by Phil Chun – June 2020

Teacher at Cupertinio Senior Center

IN ANTICIPATION – ( another article for your friendship website )

As the days and weeks lie ahead, we are anticipating that the lifting of the lockdown can’t come soon enough. I’m a bit tired of the confinement plus, I need a hair-cut badly. Our venturing out would be dramatically different than what we could ever have imagined just 3 months earlier. 

The New Normal 

After 3+ months within the confines of our homes, we will shortly venture out of our protected cocoons. Will we all function as before? I have always been quick to greet and extend shakes with others, particularly with my students. Each of us will be behind virus protected N95 masks, where smiles will partly shield our enthusiasm with each encounter. Do we greet each other with elbow bumps now that the proverbial handshakes are taboo? How about the enduring embrace? 

Let’s step back and examine the pre-Covid 19 days. The word, social distancing, didn’t exist at least not in the context of today. Perhaps it did for others previously too, who didn’t want to share their world’s with ours. The ease of befriending someone certainly was easier back then. How about coffee or lunch sometime? Our smile and handshake reaffirms our sincerity. Facial expressions now hidden behind our masks, could connections still be made? Post Covid 19, are we to be leery of others particularly in making new friends? Can we trust others even if both parties have been tested negative? Has our society erected a shield that makes it impenetrable to meet others and making new friendships? It will certainly be a challenge and we must extend ourselves even more than before. 

A Brave New World

My Conversational English classes previously have been populated with students from all corners of this planet. The union and blending of each rich culture meshed nicely with our American ideologies, makes for a bright future. I’ve always consider my classes as the sharing of ideas and the love for one another. These thoughts are paramount for me. My legacy is to leave my class and this world happier, always with a sense of hope. Whenever the school year resumes again, I will as always explain the virtues of love and the caring for all.

During the last several months, we found how fractured we are as a society and the depth of the financial divide amongst us. Even more so now is the need for unity. To coexist in this world, we depend on one another. After each of my sessions, I will continue to say, “be good to someone new and love those who are close to you”. Then off to lunch at a nearby restaurant for eats, treats and more stories. Creating the environment of caring and love must be nourished by all of us. The enrichment by all is what makes our world a better place. This can be achieved mainly by making friends. 

Will my students return and will new ones attend? I’m looking forward to the Brave New World and what it brings. 


‘Every day is unique and special’