You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?
Well this is relevant to my current state. I just returned to Korea from my vacation in Japan (it was awesome, hence my long absence from blogging. Pictures and posts to follow.) I have entered the last two weeks of being an ESL teacher in Korea. (You know, unless the job market back home really sucks and I head back east for employment.
It’s the time to say good bye. And I suck at saying good bye. I start speaking gibberish and I can’t look up from my slippers. For most of the great good byes in my life, I’ve managed to avoid it. High school was a quick rip of the band aid, “Shot for everything, Sir,” as a thank you, stare at shoes and bam! I’m outta there. At university I didn’t say good bye to people properly, mostly because I was in denial and convinced myself I’d be back. I didn’t even go to my own graduation, something I regret, because it would have been kick ass to walk across the stage in my gown and hearing them say my name and that I passed with bloody distinction. In all the major moments in life when I had to say good bye, I avoided the fact, often with the help of wine. “Cheers!” Look at shoes. Run.
But now I’m saying good bye to children, and I thought I could avoid it, but turns out I can’t. They have other plans.
Today I was showing them pictures of my trip to Japan, and they were acting particularly heinous, and the Korean teacher stopped the class and started yelling at them. I can speak a little Korean, so I understood that she was yelling about it being my last class with them and that they are brats etc. Then the boys were acting even worse, and she had them do push-ups at the front. Then suddenly, the bad boys counted, “Hana Dull Set!” (1,2,3), they all turned to me, made cute hearts with their arms and shouted, “We love you Anna teacher!”
I was so shocked. I got punked by 13-year-old kids! And I had to say something. I had to force the words out and not be all like, “So, it’s been real yo, peace out,” because they expected more and because they wouldn’t have understood my bastardised version of snippets of slang I hear on TV (I’m not American, I really can’t pull it off). So I said good bye for real this time, and the tears were close, dammit.
Then they made a line at the door to greet me personally. My freakin’ heart couldn’t handle it! I hate saying good bye! And I still have seven more sixth grade classes and seven more third grade classes to get through.
This is going to be a rough week.
So I guess my style of saying good bye is changing. All too painfully, I might add.