Friday, December 25, 2009
Christmas gifts from students
I have received a lot of interesting Christmas gifts this year from students. First, it seems that the classes feel “responsible” or maybe they just want to buy their foreign teacher a gift. This is very kind of them, but sometimes I don’t understand the mentality behind the exact gifts they give. For example, my team-mate, (who is a 30 some year old male) received a snowglobe that plays Fur Elise. And I received a huge, stuffed teddy bear, similar to something that a junior high girl would ask her boyfriend to win for her at the county fair. I felt kind of silly walking home with this giant bear after class. And of course, everyone wants to know how much I paid for it…and I tell them it’s a gift, keep my head down and hope to arrive home without any more questions. I didn’t really think I had a need for a giant stuffed bear in my life, but I was wrong. This same class also gave me a blue, psychedelic fragrance lamp; they spent way too much money on me, and I wonder if they had been prompted by their head teacher or the older students to make sure they made Christmas special for their foreign teacher.
Perhaps the most unlikely and unexplainable gift I have gotten is a pair of plastic, hollow boots…one is green and one is black. Inside the boots, the students have made a lot of paper cranes and little stars. Again, the boots are indescribable, (see picture below). Now, where to put the plastic boots…any thoughts?
Another class, took the more sentimental route. They bought a card, and wrote some very moving words on the card. I was touched. Then, they had a small, clear box with 3 clear glass vials inside. Each vial contains small, rolled up pieces of colored paper where all the students have written their wishes to me. A lot of the wishes are things like, “Wish you happy everyday.” But, a few of the wishes are more personal or written in Chinese. I actually haven’t finished reading all the wishes yet, but one touching wish reads “I hope I can become a teacher just like you.” These words truly warm my heart and encourage me.
Now, I must be off to write my final exam for the sophomore students. I think it works out well for them that I’m writing the exam while I have such warm, fuzzy feelings toward them.