i’m a sad human icicle

It’s not as if much has happened since yesterday’s post, but it’s not even 11 a.m. yet and I can already tell it’s going to be an unproductive day (so why not pass the time with blogging?).

For one thing, there’s too much commotion going on today. It’s graduation day at my main school, and even though there’s technically class scheduled for 1st and 2nd grade, no one seems to be sticking to it. And in about 10 minutes, the 3rd grade ceremony will start anyway. We don’t have an auditorium here, so they have to graduate in their own classrooms. I don’t think I’ll get to watch. I’m sad about that.

For another thing, it’s basically the same temperature inside as it is outside, which is below freezing. Okay maybe slightly warmer, but it is cold in here. Really really cold. So, I’m sad about that too.

I just had a few 3rd grade visitors, though.

First, the student whose drafted speech I proofread for her a few months ago- she came hurrying in, flushed and breathless, and squatted beside my chair as she always does, as if trying to hide from the other teachers while a stream of fluent but somehow slightly strange English pours from her mouth. She said she wanted to thank me for helping her with the speech, and held out a bag filled with snacks from the convenience store. “It’s too much,” I protested. “No, please, please – please take it! They’re not expensive, really.” She hurried away almost before I could thank her. I wish I could’ve had more time to chat with her this year. Fluency hinges on frequent use of the language, and I don’t think she uses it much at all. (Like most of the fluent or extremely-high-level kids I’ve encountered here, she seems to purposely hide her ability to avoid being seen as a show-off.)

Second, two girls who, very early in the year, demanded that I remember them and their names (and so I did). “Teacher, today is last.” I chatted with them a little about what high schools they’re going to, their graduation ceremony today, etc.

Third, technically not a visit, but one of the boys who wrote me a goodbye Post-It note (specifically this one, bottom left, “from tae mok”) came to get something from the office. I haven’t seen him since, and his face lit up when he saw me – “Oh, hi!”

And now the Korean anthem is being sung, so I guess the ceremony has begun. But I guess I will just stay here and continue to be a sad human icicle.


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