Friday, 12 April 2013

Today...I Get Sentimental

Today I realised that I can, figuratively, count my remaining days in Greece on one hand and it leaves me feeling slightly restless. There is an overwhelming excitement swelling under the surface due to the fact that I am going home to be reunited with my family and friends. There are many people to catch up with and I look forward to hearing new developments in their lives over the last year. Because a year is a pretty long time. The year that I have spent in Greece is coming to an end now, and this is met with a kind of sadness that I am not used to.

Leaving only one year of my life behind is far more difficult than I could ever have imagined. The plan was to experience a year in a different country, become one with myself and get out unscathed with a new, clean conscience. And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for these meddling kids! It's these kids, you see. These emotion factories that bounce around the room in excitable tantrums, whilst bobbing their tongues out with a mouth full of ice cream and bad words that they learnt off the television. Because that's one thing I must admit, I allow bad language in my lesson, as long as it is used in a relevant context. Swearing is a big part of phatic Greek interaction. 'Asshole' is literally another way of saying 'pal' and is as common as the word 'Reem' was in England in 2011/12. So, on ocassion, I let some words slide as long as they are saying it in English and it is in a safe context. I could rattle on about some of the ludicrous stories from my lessons, but I feel that this is for another blog.

Leaving these kids behind will be difficult. With the knowledge that I may never see these young faces again -  and that these may potentially be the only children that I teach in my life - a large part of me will remain with every single one of them as I return to England as the prodigal son (A bit much?). As much as I get annoyed in my lessons, my students are the closest thing I have had to family whilst I have been out here and they have really grown on me. I would be lying if I said that I didn't treasure every smile, every laugh and everything I have learnt from them. Those moments I will hold dear. Everything that the children have made or done for me in their spare. One student who graduated in December, went on a trip with her school in March and brought some chocolate back for me. Such a small gesture, but on a deeper level, three month after finishing my lessons, this student thought about me when she was on an outing. This sort of thing really moves me, as I must admit to myself that I am a sensitive man. I will never be a lumberjack. Other things I must admit to myself is that I will never be able to grow a beard or make a woman truly happy. Truths that can be bore.

Note: I wanted to accompany this post with some pictures of some of the gifts given to me by my students, but unfortunately I have lost them off my camera when changing over laptops. :(

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