You don’t have to call me Katniss Everdeen if you don’t want to. I mean you can and I may even respond. But if it makes you uncomfortable–I get it.
I may not have revolutionized a country under dictatorship, but things have changed these past six months so that the new foreign teachers won’t have to deal with them like I did.
When I had the Big Confrontation with my Director and she asked me what I wanted, I said I wanted three things:
- More teachers. We were overworked–especially the Korean teachers. We need more.
- A new apartment. I’d been fine, but the more I’d been around to other Avalon apartments the more I realized how much mine sucked. And then there was the mold thing.
- Our office needed a remodel. Desperately.
Tonight, a month later, as I was sitting over Papa John pizza (potato and garlic cheese toppings) in one of the classrooms with all of the teachers as they threw a goodbye party, I realized that all three of those things had been achieved.
In just these short weeks, our office was completely changed from the printer to the desks to the chairs. I got moved to a better place. And Avalon even hired another Korean teacher.
So we’re all enjoying the Korean pizza and cider and ddokboki when they ask HT to give a speech. She starts to cry, so she walks out of the room to get her composure. Understandably. She’s seen a lot of change and done a lot of work for this campus.
My coteacher goes, “I don’t think I’ve ever cried here. Mallory have you cried here?” and before I could respond Director, across the table, says “oh yes Mallory has cried many times here! In front of me!” and everyone just kind of looks at her awkward.
Right then, of course, HT returns and talks about how much she’s learned and all the people she appreciates etc etc.
Director then talks about how great HT is. How they went out for dinner last night and how she’s basically a demigoddess etc etc.
I didn’t plan on saying anything because HT and I were having very different goodbyes, but then Director took it upon herself.
“And Mallory. We’ve had many moments together,” she said reminiscing, a long enough pause for a sarcastic laugh from my negative coteacher “But this term, I think the kids really like you. And the parents understand that there are many pages to do and how hard it is to do everything. And I think you learn and grow a lot. And now I think you are a good teacher.”
I just kind of looked at her. And everyone turned to me to make a response. And because my life is a makjang, I knew I had to make some kind of speech. But I hadn’t planned ahead. So I just said what was on my mind. I took a deep breath.
“It’s been really great working here. I’ve met so many people and learned so much. I’m glad to see that we got another teacher so the workload will be less. And that the office got remodeled because it really needed to be. And that we got a new apartment. And…I hope the new teachers have just as much fun as I had.”
It’s sounds innocent enough, but those who knew…aka everyone but the new girls…smirked and made eye contact.
“ And it’s good to hear that the students like me Director because honestly, those are the only opinions I care about.”
Cheers everybody. *raises paper cup*
So no, I didn’t assassinate anyone and I’m a horrific archer, but I do feel like I accomplished something. And I didn’t go exactly quietly.
So now off to another adventure.