I am not a robot

In the lead up to my departure people have been asking me how I’m feeling about it all, and my stock answer has been excited and nervous. Actually in truth I’ve felt a little numb, which I initially thought was a pretty weird response to something as potentially life-changing as moving to the other side of the world for a whole year, especially going by some of my fellow EPIK teachers’ meteoric excitement/anxiety levels.

But I don’t think I’m an unfeeling robot girl, my feelings just appear to have manifested themselves in a different, more physical kinda way.

For example: crying, generally speaking I don’t do much of it outside of the cinema or my duvet, but apparently the times they are a-changin’. Ever since my mini breakdown last weekend, in which my tear ducts spontaneously erupted in the middle of a busy restaurant, tears have been bursting forth unbidden all over the shop, no matter how unlikely the trigger. These little bouts generally come as a total surprise to me and are accompanied by a wave of fairly intense sadness that evaporates with the last of my tears when I go back to feeling normal, if not a little lighter.

And its not just my tear-ducts betraying me. Midweek when I looked in the mirror I was greeted by a face that sort of looked like my own, if I’d been given some dodgy botox and gotten amorous with a bed of stinging nettles. At the time I put it down to a mystery allergic reaction but in hindsight I think it was probably just another way for my body to relieve some of the tension brought on by the build up to leaving.

With three sleeps to go until I fly and the tension mounting my only concern now is what other measures my body might turn to…

The virtues of 15-year-old boys

Before last week I would regularly insist to anyone who asked, or just anyone within earshot, that I didn’t care what age/gender group I landed, that I was just happy to be shaping young minds. Well it turns out that, that was rubbish.

When the teacher I’ll be replacing broke it to me that I’ll be overseeing classes of 35-40 15-year-old boys my heart did an almighty nose dive and I was overcome by a powerful urge to shriek ‘but boys have lurgies’ at the top of my lungs and run for the hills.

I think because we’d been told that we were more likely to get elementary age kids due to a lower demand for foreign teachers in high schools, I’d subconsciously dismissed the possibility of teenage boys all together. In my deluded mind I imagined my days being spent surrounded by 10-20 rapt little tadpoles playing the Hokey Cokey and Simon Says. Basically spots, fart jokes and a flagrant disregard for personal hygiene just didn’t enter into the equation.

Bubble well and truly burst I spent a couple of hours bemoaning this cruel twist of fate to various long-suffering friends and relatives before grudgingly turning to Google to find out what exactly I was letting myself in for. Well, it turns out that those spotty little stinkers might just be my golden ticket.

Consider –

– Reliable plumming

15-year-olds don’t tend to leak

– Immunity to scary foreigners

They have probably seen at a couple of weirdo westerners in their time, so they’re less likely to scream in sheer horror at the sight of me

– Bigger brains

Generally speaking, 15-year-olds are smarter than their elementary counterparts. That means we might have the odd conversation routed in some kind of logic, plus they should be able to comprehend some of the gobbledegook spewing forth from my mouth

– Susceptibility to crippling crushes

If I exploit my feminine charms right I could have them eating out of the palm of my hand

Elementary teachers, I feel your envy.