Today is the last day of my contract and the last day at this high school and tomorrow is my first day with my new high school (as mentioned previously). Although I’d like to say I’m jumping around like an idiot and ready to burst with excitement…I can’t. This is not to say that I’m sad and mopey…it’s just that, well, I’m tired.
I’m tired for many reasons. The most obvious of which is lack of sleep. Seeing as it was my last night in my soon-to-be-old apartment, I asked the foreigners in town to meet me for drinks. No, I didn’t drink. No, I’m not just saying that. I drank Coca-Cola and assumed my duty as the ‘beer-wench’ (refilling everyone’s glasses with the large pitcher of beer and ordering new pitchers as they emptied). Staying out until 2am and having to get up at 6am…I think anyone would be tired.
I’m also tired because I’m just tired of this school. I’ve had to go through loops to find out when I get my vacation time, and then later realizing they’ve shorted me over a week and half of vacation time. I’m ignored by the majority of the faculty because they are too afraid to speak English or they don’t know it; I don’t think even half know how to say ‘thank you’. Even my co-teachers ignore me unless I approach them or it’s time for class or they need something from me. I decided to move to a city (explained here), and that was a HASSLE to get. However, choosing to move to a city meant a long commute to work and therefore extending my already long work day by 3 hours (1 hour bus ride and then I have to wait an hour after my work day ends to catch the next bus). I’m tired of the stinky bathroom across the hall from my work desk. I’m tired of the village where I can’t walk for more than 5 minutes without being stared at by the elderly–and by stared, I mean…STARED…watched from a distance, eyes glued when passing, and eyes still following after passing them. Okay, I think I’m done venting.
That all said, I will miss the students. I love the students, and I don’t know why. Most cannot communicate with me, most ignore me, and well they’re all teenagers–that’s a reason too, right? (j/k) The majority of my students are “bad students”: routinely in trouble for smoking or skipping school, they don’t study, and well most of them don’t like English or I think school for that matter. Despite these reasons (or maybe because of them), I love my students. It was the same back in the states; I love the personalities of my students. Granted, in Korea, I can’t really get to know most of them, but personalities clearly come out in the classroom. Maybe I love them because of the ego boost I get when I hear that I’m beautiful and loved (even if they only say it for no other reason than that’s about the extent of their English knowledge as discussed here)…or the one that makes the heart shape with his hands and smiles at me. ^.^ But in all seriousness, it’s because of the ones that attempt to talk to me in broken English, or the ones that go out of their way to say hi to me (even if it’s in Korean)…heck even just the ones that at least acknowledge my presence. No, there aren’t many students I’m attached to, and no I can’t really get to know any of them, but you can never really ‘know’ your students anyway.
So today is the last day at this high school and I have 3 classes to take pictures with my students, show them Britney Spears music videos, and show them pictures of my vacation to Malaysia. My desk is almost cleaned out and my laptop will soon be cleared and hopefully with no trace of my use (aside from the smoothed keys from my fingers and the smooth wrist pad). Sometime this afternoon a teacher from my new high school will pick me up and show me where my new home and school will be…I can’t wait.