At the beginning of this month, as kids here in Korea started headed back to class, Eric contacted his former head teacher at the middle school he taught at 4 years ago. We the subway to Cheonan Station, then caught the 500 bus, one that he had so many memories of riding day after day for a year. We rode it far out past the edges of the city, getting off finally on a quiet little road surround b rice fields. It was gorgeous.
A short walk found us at the entrance of his old school. We climbed the stairs to his old corner classroom and happened upon another foreign teacher from the States named Gabby. She had just finished one of her classes on her very first day of teaching at this school, and since she had a free period the three of us all chatted about living in Korea and Eric’s experiences at this school. He pointed out his favorite Korean-English sign, posted at the back of the class that he would stare straight at daily:
…And he reminiscenced about how he experienced his first major culture shock on his first day at this school (excusing himself so he could go lock himself up in the bathroom to freak out and cry about abandoning everything he knew and loved to go live on the opposite side of the world).
After a bit his head teacher joined us and Eric had a wonderful time catching up. He was of course invited to come back and teach (who wouldn’t want super enthusiastic Eric as teacher?) and she walked out with us as the bell rang for classes to begin again.
Before we left the school grounds though Eric took me over to a small parking space by the soccer field, to show me exactly where he stood when he was talking on the phone to me almost 4 years ago and he confessed that he kind of liked me. So cute!!