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Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Another year has come and gone and another class of 6th graders have graduated!  I can't believe my original 6th graders at Gamjung will be starting high school next month!

Today's Graduation Ceremony went off without a hitch (is that the phrase?)!  The students were more giddy, smily and energetic than I'd ever seen them!  Here they are, waiting in the hallway, before the ceremony!

They marched into the ceremony holding cards with handmade paper flowers and handwritten messages to give to their moms and dads.

In return, the proud parents came with bouquets of flowers and candy for their graduates!

One of the girls handed me this note as she was walking in. :)

The ceremony began with a 4 minute picture slideshow, which happened to have about 75 pictures that I had taken throughout the year!  Fun to know they were being used for something other than just my blog! :)

Then it was onto the diploma (?) part where they shook hands with the principal and were given a special folder.  Not sure what was inside, but it looked official!  Then they quickly bowed to the audience and sat back down.  The shy ones actually ran off stage with their folder in front of their face!  haha

When the official graduation ceremony was complete, the students and their parents walked back up to their classrooms for their teacher's final farewell!

Then they were FREE!  We all lined up in the same way cheerleaders do at a football game and cheered for all the graduates as they walked through the middle of us! Then people hung around for about an hour, snapping pictures and saying their final farewell to their friends!  (Unfortunately, these kids will be split amongst 4 different middle schools.)

I love times like these because I get to meet the parents and find out which kids are siblings!  I was SHOCKED that these two were brother and sister! 

... but even more shocked when I found out these two were brothers!  The younger one loves English and is really outgoing and nice!  The older one walks around holding a book, at all times, reading to himself and frowning during class.  Who knew?!

It was about this time when the tears began to fall... These two are best friends and will be split up next year in middle school. 

After the students had left, the President of the school's Alumni Club invited the teachers to lunch, on him!  Ummm, OKAY!  When lunch was finished,  we headed back to school for some cake in the teachers lounge!  So much for my pre-Philippines diet!  

As we were eating cake, Min-Jung (6th grade teacher) presented me with a 6th grade yearbook that her and the other two 6th grade teachers had bought for me to thank me for all the photos I'd taken throughout the year of their students!  I had no idea they were going to be used for a yearbook!  I just thought they would be held on the school server!  I was honored, and couldn't believe there were ENTIRE pages like this one that were filled with snapshots I'd taken at different school events!   I'm thrilled to have something like this to be able to bring back to the US with me one day, as a memory of my time here!

Not only was today bittersweet because the kids were leaving, but it also marked the last day of us 3 co-teaching together. (Yep, those are our yearbook pics by the way!)  I have had the best experience working with Ok and Monica and will really miss having Monica around next year!  Ok and I always joke that we'll be at school, slaving away, while she's sitting in her PJ's at home, drinking coffee and watching TV!

 Congratulations graduates and on your retirement Monica!  I'll miss you!
"Bring it on 4th year!  Let's do this!"

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