Thursday was my last day teaching at Calvijn, and boy, was it busy! The day started out pretty slow since I didn't have to teach until 11:05, 11:55, and 2:55. Yep, three classes on my last day.
In the morning, I just worked on more paperwork and making sure that everything is completed. Anthony emailed me about his placement - he's going to be in Massachussetts! How exciting, right?
I wasn't feeling well in the morning, this whole getting sick before traveling is not working for me. However, the classes that I taught did make me feel better and it was a great closure to an amazing teaching experience. Since it was my last day with 1mh2, Magdalena gave me the opportunity to do something fun with the students. Of course, we played musical chairs. It's just so much fun for both me and the students. When the student was out, they had a worksheet that covered grammar rules that they have learning. And guess what? The students actually did the worksheet. Whoa, right?!
1mh2 class was a difficult class, and they misbehaved not because they didn't respect me but because they couldn't understand some of the things I was saying. Although it was a tough ride with them, I couldn't be happier. They always cheered when they found out that I would be teaching them, and they always compliment me on how I look, how I teach, etc. I thanked them in the end of the class, and told them just how much I will miss them. They said the same thing.
Right after 1mh2 class, I had to teach a new class of 2nd years with Ted, a History teacher. The class is learning about the Holocaust, and they are sharing and communicating with students from Poland. Since the Dutch students didn't speak Polish and the Polish students didn't speak Dutch, they depended on English...and that's where I came in. I helped the students with their grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, and guided them through sentence structure and vocabulary. Since some of the students couldn't pronounce my name, they called me "Miss America" and it definitely caught me off guard. It was kind of nice.
Then, I had a break in the teacher's workroom where Annemarie, Magdalena, Roger, and I took pictures. It was unbelievable that I haven't had any pictures with Annemarie or Magdalena so we took advantage. At 2:55, I had to teach the support class where half of 1mh2 class was there for "punishment." It was a bit of a distraction because I'm used to the 8 or 9 students that I had on Thursdays. It was a bit chaotic with 15 students.
After class, Magdalena filled in my COST evaluation. She made a comment about how I dressed too sexy for school. It caught me off guard because how I dressed would be how I would dress in the US. Dresses, skirts, pants, etc. It frustrated me a bit because I covered every thing, no skin was showing except for my neck and my arms, yet I was still too sexy. Should I just start wearing baggy clothes? I think things would be different if I wasn't as pretty. I don't want to sound conceited or anything, but there's this other teacher who dresses way worse than me - her clothes are way tighter, she shows a lot of skin - but she just doesn't have sex appeal (other teachers commented on it) so it doesn't really matter. I've changed my wardrobe to more conservative - I even wear tights and underclothes to make sure that I didn't show excessive skin or anything. I don't know...
I also said a few good byes to a couple of teachers, and it makes me sad to think that I will no longer walk through the doors of Calvijn and say good morning to these wonderful teachers in Dutch.
When Magdalena and I finally left the school to go to Oud-Beijerland, I was super tired. We picked up her kids from school, and we visited Jelma, one of the girls from my religious group. We walked from the school to her house, and it was a beautiful day. When we got home, Frank, her husband, took over cooking while Magdalena finished my evaluation and I took a nap. :)
At 6:45, we were off to Happy Wok where my religious group and I celebrated being together and also combining it to be a goodbye dinner for me. Happy Wok was a buffet, but they didn't have much to choose from. My first plate was full of food while the other girls had very little food. The American side of me glowed. Anyways, the buffet had cooked food and uncooked food where you can either grill it or make a wok.
At Happy Wok, I met two new girls, Dehlia and Tinca. Karen, Thirza, and Fay were also there. We had a great time talking about food, life, etc. Then, we had a debriefing of the 40 days that we participated in. After that, the girls gave me presents. Fay gave me a mug full of Dutch tea and Dutch jelly. Karen gave me a wooden shoe keychain and stroopwafels. Thirza gave me a card and more stroopwafels (aka Dutch cookies). Magdalena gave me glass wooden shoes, and the whole group gave me a children's book that reminds me just how special I am to God's eyes. The girls all wrote in it - and it brought tears to my eyes. Not only did they give me presents, but they also paid for my dinner.
That night in Happy Wok, I was overwhelmed by the kindness that the girls have shown me in just 8 Thursday meetings. We were open to each other about everything, and everyone has their own story. I admire these girls for sharing their stories with me, and also that they try to live like Jesus and serve God. To have these girls my age surround me was just such a refreshing feeling. Because of them, they made me feel redemption and that God is an all-forgiving God and that he loves me no matter what. Their prayers about me touched my heart, and I will forever be grateful for them. They changed my life forever.