The first site I see every morning is a delightful bouquet of flowers given to me by my students. The same students who have driven me crazy for the last two semesters with their relentless quest and demand for an A… no matter what. There were days when I dreaded going into the classroom especially after a test when every student would want to discuss their grade and explain why it should be higher. The most difficult were those clamoring to have their grade increased from an A- to an A.
Then they do things totally unexpected… like the flowers at the end of the semester. Many of them gave small gifts to me including exquisitely wrapped chocolates. They asked me to sign their yearbooks and they even gave me good evaluations.
Can these be the same students who gave me so much grief during the last ten months! At their graduation party, I watched their joy at completing a long journey. Many of them had taken five years to obtain their bachelors degrees because the first one to two years included intensive English language training. Like every other graduation I have attended, there was a collective sigh of relief and ecstasy. Underlying all that was apprehension of the unknown future. The decisions to be made concerning whether to work, marry or continue in school.
With all the problems and strife I experienced teaching in a foreign country (UAE) , at the end of the year I too breath a sign of relief, but also experience apprehension about my own future. Whether to return home (USA) to the world that I know or to return to live and work in a place where every day brings new experiences.