Wednesday, June 25, 2008
yea, that's pretty much my nickname. Always.
I don't mean to cry. But I've always been somewhat of a crier. Movies, books, TV shows, even commercials. Actually, even songs and national anthems. Sometimes an audience clapping is all it takes. And I start crying.
This time it started on Tuesday. And it was totally unexpected.
But here I am crying again.
Tuesday: Saying my final goodbye to that first class of the week and I started welling up. We took a class picture and I thought I would burst, but I held them back. THEN, out of nowhere, one of the girls comes back to my classroom, manages a "Teacher, I love you!" and then bursts into tears. At which I can't help but start crying also. Did I mention? Other people crying is usually enough to set me off.
Every class after her, I cried a little as they left. I could usually hold it in until they waved their final goodbyes and headed down the stairs, but as soon as I turned back to my empty classroom I no longer had to beam that smile. I felt the realization that I will most likely NEVER see these kids again. And then the tears would come.
Last night was our final hweshik with all the teachers I taught with and the VP and principal and out tech teacher who is in love with me. It was wonderful. I managed not to cry during dinner or at the cafe afterwards. But when I got home and unwrapped the album and earrings they got me, I couldn't help it. Despite all my complaints and whining, I've developed some 정 for these people. The people who kept me afloat during my year abroad.
One of the 2nd grade classes (the worst one, the one that I yelled at 3x on their first day and I wrote about it HERE) wrote me goodbye letters. And although most of them are the same bland "Thank you, we'll miss you, please don't go, I learned a lot of English thanks to you" format, a few were really wonderful and surprising. There were students who I thought never paid attention but then wrote me full-page letters talking about how I made English fun for them. There was one who even thanked me for teaching them so exuberantly to the point of sweating. And another girl who wrote that she would miss me but how happy I must be to be going home. They surprised me with their depth and compassion.
And now I just received a fresh batch of letters from my first 1st grade class. It's not the same, as I've only taught these kids for 2 and a half months, and I've been with my 2nd graders since I first got here in July. But wow, the thought these kids have given me, is so touching and I'm so lucky to have been here.