“Don’t be attached to the students.”

That was the warning of our head teacher during ESL Instructor Training. “The students will only be here for two months,” he continued.

I mean, how many weeks; how many days; how many minutes does it take for one to be attached to another? (It’s silly to google the answer because attachment isn’t always romantic. I’m talking about a tutor-student relationship here.) Is it talking for two hours a day for 40 days? Is it reading the same textbook and agreeing on the same ideas? Is it drawing on each other’s notebooks? Is it sharing the same enthusiasm about games? Is it thrumming the beat to his hum and whistle?

I shouldn’t be sad. I mean he isn’t my first student to go back to his own country. Plus, he always intentionally reads the words wrong in our text book. In fact, he replaces the words with “Teacher Rennie.” Moreover, he always puts me in danger when he writes stories: When Teacher Rennie comes, my dog will bite her. So why the need to write this rambling about him leaving?

It could be because my routine will change starting tomorrow. It could be because I won’t hear the usual mumble of “Teacher Rennie” under his pre-adolescent breath. It could be because I won’t be visited by him during break time. It could also be because he had to leave something behind for me to remember him.

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Before he left, he didn’t really give me a proper goodbye. Instead, he held an Iron Man USB in his hands and said, “How can we play (Warcraft?)”

“Connect to the internet and we’ll see each other.”

Then he left.

“You have to be better than me!” I cried as he headed for the exit.

Two months ago, the head teacher disclaimed, “The students will tell you that they will e-mail you every day; but they won’t.”

 

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