A New Year, A New Beginning

I can’t believe it’s 2014. Last night, for our movie night, we decided to watch ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. It’s one of my all-time favourite movies and my Chinese friend never saw it before so we decided to watch that. I glanced at when it was made…2004! I couldn’t believe it! 10 years ago! Time is just going too fast… and every year I’m getting older. When 22 came, I thought ‘mm… its ok’. But when 23 came around I thought ‘no, no, I’m actually starting to get old!’ I’ll be 24 in 4 months. If I lived in China, I’d most likely be settled down, planning a wedding and having a baby in the next year or two. Its mad how cultures work sometimes.

Anyway, on Monday I have my last oral examination. On Friday I had to do one for 3 hours, asking the same questions 45 times. But they were my good 1st year class, and they are all lovely. The girls were asking me ‘will you be teaching me next semester?’ and I had to say unfortunately not. The look of sadness in their faces! I was so grateful though, they said that I was a kind, lovely teacher…that I was their first foreign teacher, and that they would always remember me. I was so taken aback. To hear such nice things from them made me so happy. One of the boys asked for a hug and said he loved his name. At the beginning of the semester he asked could I give him a new English name. I picked Jacob. I have no idea where the name came from, I know nobody called Jacob, but it instantly suited him. I think Jacob is quite a rare English name to Chinese people so he will be different too.

It was sad though, I was interviewing each one in turn, and I’d think ‘this is probably the last time I will talk to this person’. Throughout the semester, you gradually learn about each student, where they sit in class, who they hang around with in the class. You know the students who are eager to learn, listen to your every word. Then there are the others who sit at the back, play with their phones and just do not want to be there. But I suppose in every classroom around the world it’s the same.

And I have officially finished teaching. Done. Dusted. Finito. I remember walking on my own to my first lesson at 8:15am. The students literally never said a word. It was hard at the beginning. But slowly they started to gain more confidence and they began to talk more. September seems like ages ago. At one stage, I thought ‘I can’t wait to be finished so I can go home’. That was my unhappy stage of teaching. But that gradually passed, and the rest of it flew by. A new year, a new beginning. Of course I know there will be ups and downs in 2014, I just hope that there will be more ups. I don’t know what will happen, will I live in Ireland? China? Another country altogether? Who knows. But what I keep reminding myself is…..

What will be, will be.

Aisling

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