Today was my last working day at EF. Though my contract ends September 4, I am taking my accumulated annual leave from now until then. The last 3 days have been SO special. I've had many special times with all my classes. My students have written beautiful letters in English to me (I'll share some later) and given me some incredible Chinese gifts to take back to the States. Gifts that I will always cherish. We've exchanged emails, chat names, phone numbers and taken many, many photos. I will miss all my students like CRAZY! Many of them have been my students for nearly 2 years now and I have literally watched some of them grow up and mature! Some of the younger ones have changed so much and it's made even more evident when I look back at photos I took of them nearly 2 years ago. I will post some of the great photos of my kids in a future post.
Tonight....after a long working day....there was a pizza party in our conference room (demo room) to celebrate the end of summer camp (the end to 6 day working weeks), an arriving teacher (who went home early and didn't stay for the celebration! ha) and my leaving. I was given a beautiful photo of a big group of folks I have worked with for the past two years and a special book that everyone wrote in. I haven't read any of the messages in the book for I know it will make me sad. I don't want to leave all these great folks I have worked with and my students. But it's time. Perhaps I'll read all the messages from my colleagues on the plane as I fly toward my new life back in America in early October. I'm just not ready to read their messages yet. Too sad. Though I am no longer teaching, I will remain in China for the next 6 weeks, traveling to Changchun and Changbaishan, and also seeing many great sights in Beijing that have gone unseen while working. I have a list (ha) and I hope to check everything off before returning.
So for now....here's a couple of pics from the great pizza party tonight. I will share more photos about my wonderful students in a day or so.
Fourteen pizzas from Domino's delivered to our Center! My favorite one? The pepperoni, of course! ha
Cathy makes a short speech, expressing her gratitude for everyone's had work.
Such a wonderful group of people I've worked with, many for nearly 2 years! I handed out many little gifts to everyone from the depths of my office drawers! ha I gave a colleague my nice supply of disposable chopsticks as he always asks me if have extra chopsticks! ha I gave folks American flags, American coins, American Dial soap (yes, soap! ha), stickers for students, pencils from the States, packs of Chapstick, Nyquil cold medicine to a fellow American (ha), and many other funny things and sometimes meaningless things! ha It was great fun. I attempted to make a little speech about how we were all just one piece of a big puzzle and only when we are working well together can the puzzle stay complete and be appreciated.....and I almost made it to the end of this planned speech....but the tears finally started and I couldn't say much more. It's a new experience for me to leave a job that I have loved so much. Much more to come about my last days with EF! As always, LL in C and already missing my students SO much, T.