"Can you see and hear me OK?" I said for at least the eighth time that day. I was talking into my laptop. This was in Thailand, where I had moved after college to teach schoolchildren during the day and, for extra money, teach English online to Japanese and Korean adults in the evening.
His question opened our lesson into a world I had never entered with my students; we strayed beyond suitable topics into real life. It was the first time I dropped the fake smiles and professional reserve and was simply myself.