Week Twelve: April 30-May 6
I can’t believe it’s actually our last week!! These last few months have flown by, and even though at this point I’m excited to come home I’m going to miss my experiences in Greece so much! Also, Athens is doing this cute this where it’s trying to convince me not to leave by having absolutely gorgeous weather all week.
Yesterday was Greek Labor Day, and Lauren and I took advantage of the long weekend and went to Barcelona!! I had been there once before back in summer 2008 with my family, but we only spent a day there before going to a different city. My only memories from back then we’re visiting Camp Nou (where the Barcelona soccer team plays) and falling asleep on a tour bus), so I had plenty of things on my bucket list! We walked a long Las Ramblas (multiple times), visited the magnificent Parc Güell, and marveled at the work of art that is the Sagrada Familia. If you don’t know who Gaudí is, he’s basically responsible for every beautiful piece of architecture in Barcelona. Humble brag, 8 years of elementary and high school Spanish totally payed off and I surprisingly remembered enough to communicate in Spanish most of the time (which is way more than I can say for my Greek skills at this point).
Now that we’re back at school for our last week, the kids a lot more aware that I’m leaving and keep telling me goodbye. I have to remind them that it’s not until Friday! We discussed that Friday is my last day and marked it on the class calendar, but my clinical educator is actually hesitant to acknowledge it further by counting how many days away it is because she thinks it’s too sad (mostly for her, not the kids lol). At parent teacher conferences last Thursday and Friday a lot of the parents also mentioned that their children came home and told them I was leaving soon, and they told me they’ll miss me as well. This was my first time attending parent teacher conferences, and it was a really great experience!
Whelp, coming in hot on the ending of this placement. Today, the kids were more vocal about their disappointment in my leaving. Some of them said that they want the plane to, “go back to America alone,” and others want to know when they can come visit. I find their ideas very heart-warming and cute, while on the inside I’m slowly breaking down emotionally. It’s fine. If I found today hard, I can only imagine how hard tomorrow will be. Too long didn’t read, getting all kinds of emotional in ACS.
While I am getting on my way to very sad about my departure, I can only look back at all of the amazing opportunities I have had during this placement. I feel that I have grown a lot as a teacher during this placement in ways that I did not expect, and for that I am grateful. I have learned a lot from the educators around me, some ideas that I will bring back with me. While being in a foreign country for three months in which the language, culture and food is drastically different is daunting, I am glad I had the opportunity to experience this at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I am still excited to see my dog, but I have really enjoyed this process. Ok, I’ll stop being sappy and melancholy for now and sign on off. Yasas!