That time has come, the time to say goodbye to Chungwon High School. It’s been quite an emotional period since returning from the CELTA in Chiang Mai. After receiving provisional confirmation that I passed I posted an updated CV on a plethora of ESL job websites. Even though I clearly state on my resume that I don’t want to teach little kids (CELTA Uggh!) I’ve been bombarded by a legion of Chinese spin doctors telling me that their school or academy is the best and they are waiting with open arms for me to arrive and teach their angelic darlings. Well bog off I don’t want them, jumping up and down and imitating a children’s TV presenter ain’t floating my boat! Whilst I’d prefer a stint in Berlin there are some interesting positions in Dubai, Italy, Vietnam and Thailand which merit further inquiry.
Back to the present, I returned to school for the graduation of my 3rd grade; we’d been through it all together arriving on the same day in 2012. The soul wrenching obsession with rote learning and 16 hour days had taken its toll but I hope I planted the seeds of individualism in the minds of my charges. There is a world beyond the corporate suffocation of Samsung and LG. Needless to say a few tears flowed.
I followed this with a two-day literary & travel inspired extravaganza of a winter camp. Students participated in quizzes, poster making and cooking to a backdrop of “Where the Hell is Matt?”. The scene setting was to divide them into 4 teams whose inspirations were the fictional characters of Philleas Fogg, Captain Nemo, Pi Patel and Doctor Who. The evening entertainment was “Around the World in 80 Days”, the Steve Coogan vehicle. Whilst the movie flopped at the Western Box Office; the inclusion of Jackie Chan was a pull for Eastern audiences, the kids loved it.
At the camps conclusion I met my replacement teacher Alex and as is the “special friendship” between the USA and the UK we arranged our hand-over of both jobs and the apartment. I was then told my time in school was over but I will return on the 25th for a leaving party.
That evening I went for dinner with my departing third graders and a great time was had by all chomping on unlimited Shabu Shabu. The morning after I headed to Seoul to organise my Chinese Visa the next to last piece of bureaucracy before I depart for my trans-siberian train experience and onwards to Europe. The final piece in the jigsaw will be my Russian Visa which I’ll organise next Monday after the Korean Lunar New Year Celebrations. Michelle and I are heading to Seoul for my leaving party and will catch up with EW and three colleagues from the CELTA in Chiang Mai.
I am so looking forward to my journey home and finding new work post CELTA and I’m hoping to keep the blog active (connections permitting) on my journey home.