You know, I am CONSTANTLY thinking about what makes a good person and a good friend. I would say that the majority of my friends are wonderful and kind people otherwise I wouldn't be friends with them (duh). I mean they are generous (with either time or money or both) and giving. Lately I had a bit of a falling out with my sister which saddens me as I tried my best to be a good sister and a friend to her (and we have no other siblings) but she continues to either ignore me and hold grudges (over things that happened 10 or 20 years ago!) and all in all just be an negative pain in the butt. So as sad as it is I have to kind of pretend she doesn't exist at the moment.
Now, here at the school and in my town I've met some wonderful and kind people and yes I know that everybody says that French people are hard to 'crack' but once you 'crack' them they are soft on the inside (if you like my egg analogy ;) ) which I think is very true. And given that it usually takes YEARS to get to know them I think I've done pretty fabulously well for less than 7 months!
Today, I was thinking about some of the people at the school and that no matter what I say or do to them they just don't want to be my friend. I treated everyone the same when I first came and how I subsequently treated them depended on how they treated me... afterall I'm the guest and the stranger to their country.. *I* don't know the 'rules' but surely they must? Not that I've had a falling out with anyone but I do find many people don't like me or ignore me (for whatever reason I can't and won't understand) but now I'm so over it I honestly am glad I won't have to work with and see them anymore. That may sound nasty but that's just how I feel!
Besides, there are far more people who are nice to me and actually look forward to seeing and talking to me for me to worry about the ones that don't!! There is one teacher that I work with and I can't quite figure out which category he fits into. He seems to be nice but then some things he does suggests he's not. One of the number one criteria a good friend (and partner) must have is: Mean what they say, and do what they say they will do. This particular teacher has said many times we should catch up outside of school hours but never managed to arrange it. Now that I'm leaving he's STILL talking about it... Frankly I'm not that fussed if it doesn't happen but in my mind if you don't plan on carrying something out, don't talk about it!! Straight away, my opinion of someone goes way down if they do that to me.
Meh. I really have to stop thinking about this crap so much!!
Meanwhile, I will dearly miss the majority of my students. This morning I first had a very small class so I couldn't do much with them (in terms of celebrate my leaving). Then, after the class, two of the girls came up to me and asked me which would be my last day here as they'd like to give me something. I was so touched with even just the thought of it.
Then, in my next class I had a mini "party" with one of my favourite classes. It was so much fun and that one hour just flew by! When I told them my future plans, just the good part and not stressful "the issue" part.. they all applauded me. I was so happy and touched I could've almost cried. I also took many photos and videos that I wish I could share with you here (but won't for privacy reasons).
A few weeks back, I had my dad ship to me (by express EMS mail which cost a fortune and I'm lucky that my dad didn't kill me for that) some Australian things to show my kids. In hindsight, I could've brought it with me when I came but considering my luggage was already overweight it would've been impossible.
The funniest moment was when I introduced them to Vegemite, that dark brown famous Australian spread (for bread). It's definitely an acquired taste. I remember when I was really young I hated it but then I grew to love it and find it addictive sometimes!
dégueulasse too. I found the whole 'experiment' rather amusing and it's all captured on video for posterity :) I also let them try some delicious Tim Tam chocolate biscuits and some cute Caramello koalas (photo credit). I was quite touched when I noticed some students kept the empty sticky chocolate wrapper as well for a souvenir (as that is exactly something *I* would do!!).
At the end I had one girl come up to me and say that I was the best English teacher she ever had and that I was so much better that the other ones in the school. Although I don't think I'd agree with her I was very surprised and flattered by that sweet comment.
I went through a phase (in February, that horrible month for me) where I absolutely hated teaching and I actually thought of it as a crap job. No kidding. But after feeling a bit more confident now I realise it's not too bad a job at all and like any job there are many pros and cons. One of the biggest pros is when you have a sweet student tell you something like that. It just feels my heart with joy. :) Another thing I like about working with people who are younger than me is that they are so fresh and so innocent and haven't been screwed around by 'life experience' so they aren't negative and bitter (and therefore unfriendly) like I feel a lot of adults are.
I just had a look at my timetable and due to exams and school excursions and various other things I only JUST realised that I do NOT have a whole week left but only one day! I believe I only have one class, on a Tuesday. I could probably get it off if I wanted to and start my holidays one week earlier! Hmm... decisions...
(image from here)