I’ve started to tell them when I’m leaving.

Da Hee with a jump rope slung over her shoulder: “Teacher, I miss you.”

“You miss me?”  It’s only been two periods since I cheated and showed the Gilmore Girls to their extra class with no accompanying listening activity, since they got so into the pilot episode this week.  Skipped to the one where Rory gets hit by a deer on her way to school.  They were shocked when her mother gave her the keys to drive herself to school.  Can’t drive until you’re like 20 here.  I figured, “It’s 8am on a Friday.  I can read.  They can study other stuff if they want to.  I’ll be setting a good example– being seen reading a 900 page book.”

“Teacher, America go?  Korea come back?”

“No.”

“Oh.  Nabbeun.  Teacher –bad.”

“My family misses me.”

I am saying “Mother, father, sister” and ticking them off on my fingers while she says  “teacher: marry, teacher: marry, teacher: marry.”

“Teacher, boyfriend —dun-dun-da-dun.  I, ok.”

I’m going to miss them too.  Something fierce.  I’ve got kids in three countries now who make my day, or made my days in their times.  And I’ll never get to know what kind of adults they become.

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