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July 19, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 19

Some people came in today and balloonified the auditorium for tomorrow’s closing ceremony…

Our last day of teaching was today!!! It’s kind of bittersweet in a way… getting the kids to cooperate has been one of the toughest mental sports I’ve ever partaken in. I’m still really glad I had the experience though- it made the summer memorable, I’ve gotten a great taste of Taiwan, and I’ve made some of the coolest friends anywhere. And the kids! I wish I could see how they turn out in a couple of years. I totally have predictions on what they’ll be like in high school, and I feel like I’ve really gotten to understand them well in just two weeks. I guess that’s what happens when you only have six kids in your class… participation is hard to come by, but you get to know the personalities of each of the kids really well.

 

 

I’m gonna miss this kid.

And the same pretty much goes for our student group at Jiufen as well- I love the dynamic we have as both c0-teachers and friends. Each one of us is different from the rest (very different, in fact- but it’s kinda cool that way), but put us together for two weeks of teaching, scrambling for an opening ceremony, scrambling for a closing ceremony, freaking out about wildlife in the school, freaking about the wasp in our room, doing laundry, coordinating shower times, coordinating Facebook tagging, coordinating group “bonding” time, as well as intense Literature, Saladbowl, and Mao battles, and you’ll get a pretty solid group. I mean, now we mostly just fight over whether the guys or girls are superior, but  you know you’re starting to get close with a group when you start making fun of each other at every chance you get. Or, when you coordinate an acoustical cover of “I Want It That Way” to perform.

 

I have to say, our director and teacher have been pretty awesome as well- they’re both really understanding, patient, fun, and caring. DEFINITELY improved our stay here by a thousand and we owe them a lot. After a long day of rehearsal today (and when I say long, I mean loooong- we spent the ENTIRE day rehearsing parts), I was ready for a break. And what better surprise than getting mango slushies right after class ended?

We agreed it had the PERFECT icy consistency

Here’s us having our daily meeting, along with our wonderful teacher aids…

Our last packaged dinner EVER…

And speaking of last packaged dinner, it IS sad that our time here at Jiufen has almost come to an end. At least for me it is- I can’t say for the others. Maybe in actuality they hate me and want to get away from here. But in any case, it has been a real pleasure to hang out for the past 13 days, even if it has been tough at times. The funny thing is though, take any bad experience and add some friends who go through the same thing you do, and suddenly it isn’t that bad anymore. The opening ceremony was stressful and tiring and it made me grumpy. But in hindsight I realize how fun it was and how lucky I was to work with such interesting and diverse people. Teaching was unbelievably stressful. But the fact that I had people to complain and gripe to who were in my situation as well made it that much more bearable. Fun, even.

 
                        No hesitation                                               Sums up their friendship

 
“Let’s think of some animals… “dog!”                                        Signature pose
“monkey!” “rabbit!”… “umbrella!”

Emily, with her quiet deadliness and calculating gaze- thanks for finally figuring out (kinda) whether a fat guy or light guy goes down a water slide faster. Jocelyn, the “Am I?” queen and nicest “mean teacher” I’ve ever seen- thanks for controlling the classroom and saving me when I wanted to bang my head against a desk. Kevin and his vast repertoire of music and brands- thanks for lending me your MacBook, and congrats on your cockroach kills! Rock it out tomorrow in Call Me Maybe =P. Hursuong (or fondly, H-swag), the future leader of the world, possible President of the United States, “I Want It That Way” partner… thanks for basking me in your awesomeness. And have I told you yet that you have a lovely voice? And Ryan- the funniest, most sarcastic, sassiest “mofo” I have yet the misfortune to meet, but sensible, thoughtful, and most of all, honest. Good conversations man. Keep me posted, and don’t let H-swag get too wild over at Harvard.

    

Soooo, our second to last full day here at Jiufen Elementary =[. How am I feeling? A tiny bit sad, as I would for any special thing coming to an end. But I’m still pumped. We’re gonna rock our closing ceremony tomorrow and people will throw babies in the air and scream and faint over us.

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