Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leaving Thailand: last thoughts

          It is a strange feeling ending a chapter in your life.  I always get overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions- how much that life became the norm for me, the sadness of how I’ll never see certain people again, how I’ll never be that age again; the amazement of how much time has passed, the wisdom I’ve learned, the difference in me since I entered that chapter; and of course, aspirations and anxieties about the future.
Saying goodbye to my students was sad for me.  Most are too young to fully understand that they will never see me again and that I have a different life in a different part of the world.  And naturally I was more attached to certain students; some I had for all 3 semesters of my teaching and some were just more mature or advanced in their language skills and built special relationships with me.  When I started hugging those students on the last day of school I felt sad.  At the same time, I knew that my career as a teacher had definitely burned out, at least, with that age group, with that curriculum, with that school, and possibly with this continent.  The last couple of months were a big struggle for me in all those areas.  As I have expressed before, I feel that the curriculum presented for such young kids is very difficult to uphold as it is not age appropriate, thus making my job a struggle despite my enjoyment of being around kids.  At the same time, this situation and its challenges gave me an irreplaceable lesson, the exact kind I set out for.  I mean, why would I go across the world to teach at a school identical to one in America? 
Some students’ parents seemed a bit surprised that I was going home and I almost felt guilty… but I got what I came for and now it is time for me to move on… that’s understandable right?  Nothing personal towards Thailand but I didn’t see my entire future there!  There is still so much more of the world that I want to see and I’m really excited for when I do. 

Now that I am home, in what I find to be the most freezing April weather ever, I have to get used to not only the weather, but also driving on the right side of the road, people having a million electronics, people having such trendy clothes and hobbies, following traffic laws, expensive food, and the fact that things have changed and I am totally not with it.  My family said the thing that outsider-ed me the most was asking who is that guy with the crazy beard? on the Giants while they were watching the game.  When I was watching the news I said who is this guy they're calling governor isn't Arnold the governor? Apparently not anymore.  I keep forgetting that there are dryers and free tap water and I can't get enough of these comfortable beds and couches!  I guess every country has good features about it!!

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