Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Made My Day

This week I've been doing my semi-annual English Camp for Daebang Middle School. The day was dreary and rainy all morning, and having had some personal setbacks, I just didn't want to be there that day. My mind was elsewhere, on matters bothering me and the funk that has been settling in.

Feigning enthusiasm as best I could, I managed to get through the lessons for the day without infecting my students too badly with my dreariness. Then, with shoulders slumped, and feeling kind of lonely, I slowly plodded home as the rain started, shuffling and dragging my feet. Just one of those days where you feel the rain cloud is there to rain on YOUR parade specifically.

Starting across the crosswalk, I heard the high pitched, girly voice of one of my students, "Mr. Beal! Mr. Beal! How are you! Come here! Come here!"

She smiled, and jumped up and down, beckoning me to join her under her umbrella, and seemed genuinely excited to have time to talk to me personally. Her infectious smile and bursting enthusiasm at seeing me began to come over me. I could no longer resist and began smiling and joking with her, as she walked out of her way all the way back to my place (she doesn't live very far from me), making sure I didn't get wet.

It was obvious she wasn't just interested in practicing English, she genuinely liked me and I had obviously made an impression in one of my classes. She made me glad to be a teacher and content about where I was and what I was doing. All my frustrations seemed worth it for those moments with a doting pupil in the rain.

Amazing how such a small thing can lift your spirits for the day, and make your time in class meaningful again. Needless to say, I had less trouble finding the energy for classes the next day.^^

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