The curtain is getting ready to close and I know I have less than three weeks in Daegu. There has been so much that I have seen and experienced here, much more than had I visited as a tourist. I have seen the beautiful heart that is present here. I have also seen closed minds with an air of superiority, just as you would see in any other part of the world. Sometimes a foreign view threatens the status quo. The stereotypes that hinge on cultural behavior can only be changed by individuals. I have learned to see through the appearances that are so carefully protected.
I have learned to be humoured by comparing the differences, like going to a movie theater and wanting to ask why all ticket holders receive assigned seats instead of being able to sit where you want. Then again, why ask why? Sometimes you just go with the flow and look at the seating chart to find your seat.
I have also been inspired by the creativity I have seen blossom. The creation of a space station out pieces of vegetation and apples from a six-year-old girl, named Kelly, made me realize I taught them more than English. I was also pleased to hear of one my students winning an art competition in the city. It is with these little touches on their lives, seeing their achievements, how much they have learned and have grown; I realized my own growth through them as well.
So as I watched kindergarten graduation pictures taken this week, for a graduation I won't be present for, I smiled for the camera as well. I was one of their first teachers. They were my first students. You really never forget your first teachers and I won't forget mine. It has been an honor to have been part of their lives.