Thursday, May 27, 2010

When It's Over...

Today I cried. I stood in front of 36 fifteen and sixteen year old boys and cried. Before you start envisioning me sobbing publicly, I should clarify that it was only 2 tears. But still...I cried and that was something I did not want to do.
Today I taught my last class. It was my favorite class, 1 MB. 1 MB is the only class that I've taught from the beginning of my time here (I've switched classes three times). So, we've gotten close. I've done some extra projects with them that I didn't do with my other classes. For example, they keep journals. Every week at the end of class they write in their journals for 5-10 minutes. I collect the journals and write a response to each of their entries. Their journals are ongoing private conversations between the students and me. The journals demonstrate the immense improvement in their English abilities and they also have really given me more of a relationship with each of the boys. Every week I look forward to teaching their class. They make me laugh. We're comfortable with each other and they understand what I'm talking about more often than my other classes.

1 MB

To be honest, I was not looking forward to class today. I knew it would be difficult. I truly am excited to go home. That said, I will miss Indonesia. I like the teachers I work with, I love eating manggis and bakmi godog for less than $1, I enjoy living in a country where when I wake up in the morning I never know what's really going to happen during the day; but when I think about leaving all these things behind I don't feel much more than a prick of remorse and sorrow. When I think about leaving my students...I'd just rather not think about it. They are what I will miss most.
So, this morning, I walked into class and announced, "Today is our last class together. This is my last class EVER." And was gratified with a loud, "AHHHHHHHHHH!" Then we continued with our normal class. The lesson went well. The bell rang at the end and I thanked them for a wonderful 9 months. I turned my back to erase the whiteboard when they said, "Wait, Miss! We have some presents for you." And from under their desks they retrieved 4 wrapped packages. Packages obviously wrapped by boys. Packages wrapped with an absurd excess of tape. Packages wrapped in paper that said 'baby' and had pastel animals and rattles on it. That was when I cried my two tears. And while it was only two tears, my hands were shaking enough that I had to have them open the presents for me. And after lots of thank yous and another round of photos and handshakes they reluctantly left to go to their next class and I erased the white board and pulled myself together again.

Zarkasi, Danang, Anton Permana, Ma'ruf, Anang

Febri, Fajar Uut, Ricky, Dwi Cahyoko

Fahrul Umam, Nur Hasim, Azhar, Nugroho

M. Arifudin, Sarwo Edi, Saputro, Nurrohman

Andrianus, Fikri Yahya, Rifqi, Nurochman

Juni, Nurul Hadi, Imam, Imam

Willy, Fahrurrozi, Nurdiansah

Slamet, Firman, Illgner, Arif Mukti, Fatoni Imam


  1. So wonderfully bittersweet-- the photos are great- love that you have the smalll groups.

  2. So lucky that this happened- you are all enriched!

  3. Ah, here were the tears. They hurt, but they make a goodbye richer.