I've started telling my students I'm leaving, which has sucked about as much as I thought it would. On Wednesday, the day my ticket was bought, 긴원 and 다니, two of my favorite sixth graders, came by my office at lunch. We've been playing with Scrabble tiles during lunch recently. The kids pour the tiles out of my table and spell out the names of their favorite singers: FT Island, G Dragon, Shinee. The girls poured the tiles out onto the table and asked if I was leaving Korea. I told them I was going back to America in a few weeks, and instead of getting into their usual argument of 2PM vs. Big Bang, they wrote this:
Ow, my heartstrings. They asked why I was leaving and I explained that I missed my family and needed to go home. 긴원 gave this some though and suggested that I just call my family and tell them come live in Korea with me. That way, I can see my family and can stay in Korea. (Also, it gets around that pesky confusion of me living alone while unmarried, a rarity in Korea.) Then she grabbed my hand and said, "Teacher, promise remember me," and my heart just broke. I solemnly took her hand in mine and promised that I would never ever forget her. Yesterday, I was sitting outside by the playground after school, watching my students play. As the students ran past they shouted, "Hello Teacher!" A few stopped to show me things and joke with me (Kids: Teacher, it's raining and snowy. Day: *remains sunny and warm* Me: Oh no! Raining?! Snowing?! Kids: *laugh uproariously at the gullible foreigner*) and my little 4th grade girls run up for a hug. Damn, I thought to myself as I left, I'm really going to miss this place.