It's never easy to say goodbye...

Seoul Travel Blog

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Carrie!

"...Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard, oh take me back to the start..." That's exactly where I want to be. I want to be getting off that airplane on that first bitterly cold Sunday night in March...I want to be riding in that taxi seeing my first glimpse of Seoul...I want to be waking up at 4 am that Monday morning preparing for what lie ahead...I just want to be walking in my classroom for the first time meeting my new partner teacher and students...I just want to have that feeling back, when I knew I had the whole year ahead of me to connect with these children running around, to build memories with them, to watch them grow and thrive; not wondering how or when I would have to say goodbye to them.

one of the brightest students!
..

Well, that time has come.  Today, I had to say goodbye to the first of my little oranges and pears (our class names).  I remember on that first day of school, my partner teacher Sophia sat me down and asked me to help her name a few of the children who still needed English names. The only name that came right to mind was Carrie, a very good friend of mine who I just left back in NH. By the time I said the name "Carrie" and helped her spell it, Sophia had already named the remaining children, asking me if the names were spelled properly, leaving me with my only conrtibution of "Carrie." I was so excited to find out which girl was Carrie as she would be the only student I would get to give a name to in 2008 and hopefully form an instant bond with.

this is how I will always remember her...smiling, giggling, and bubbly!

Although I didn't exactly get to meet her that day as the children were running and playing everywhere, and of course speaking Korean; I did get to formally meet her the following Tuesday. She was one of the most instantly memorable children. She was the tallest of both classes, had one of the cutest faces, was one of the brightest of all the students, and just had an all around sparkling personality - essentially a mini-version of my Carrie from home! I couldn't have given her a more fitting name! I felt so lucky to have so many amazing children to teach! From that day on, I knew my life would be forever changed not only by the experience of living in a foreign country, but by meeting and being a part of these particular students' lives and they, a part of mine.

one last hug...

From those first days of March until these last few days of October, Carrie has always had a special place in my heart! Perhaps it is because of her enthusiasm and phenomenal attitude and efforts; perhaps it is because of her constant hugs, giggles and smiles every day; perhaps it is because she was the only student I gave a meaningful name to; perhaps it is because of her sunshiny and obvious love for life and everything that comes her way; perhaps it is because she was my very first class to teach or perhaps it is simply her just being her.  She has just been one of those students who have made my trip here so meaningful and successful.

When I found out she was leaving last week because her parents had to move, I was speechless...

goodbye...
I was already dealing with having to say goodbye to Sophia, who is moving to the U.S. I hadn't planned on dealing with the emotions of saying goodbye to one of my students, knowing the unlikeliness of ever seeing her, talking to her or teaching her again...I had those feelings reserved for February of 2009 when all of our students will graduate and move up to the next level. Instead of having a few months to let the emotions settle in, I only had a few days. 

Carrie absolutely loves coming to kindergarten every day!  Every Friday, when I first see her in the morning and ask her how she is, she tells me, "I am sad today because no SLP (kindergarten) tomorrow." And I always give her a big hug and tell her not to worry because we will be back here on Monday; but I didn't get to tell her that today. I had to say goodbye instead.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

azsalsa says:
I like that comment from Dr. Seuss......fits well here.
Posted on: Oct 24, 2008
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Carrie!
Carrie!
one of the brightest students!
one of the brightest students!
this is how I will always remember…
this is how I will always remembe…
one last hug...
one last hug...
goodbye...
goodbye...
adorable Carrie!
adorable Carrie!
Carries sunny smile!
Carrie's sunny smile!
Seoul
photo by: chiyeh