the move is coming on fast… just three more days!  i will be covered in dust and newsprint until then  😀  there are four out of six giant boxes packed, so i think i’m doing pretty well.

in the past four years, i’ve given countless private english lessons to students all around the city.  but two of my students stick out above all the others, and this is their story.

i met alice in august 2008.  my first impression was a lively grade-3 korean girl who resembled some sort of tiny fox.  i remember distinctly that i taught her how to play “simon says” during our first lesson, and the shouts and giggles that followed were absolutely precious.  several months later, i discovered she had a younger sister in kindergarten, named ann.  i met her one afternoon, climbing on top of the desk alice and i used for study, refusing to leave unless we played games with her.  she was tiny with a wee kindergarten-kid tummy and shiny, uncontrollable brown hair.

over the years, we’ve done a lot together and gotten through countless english instruction books.  alice has gone from a fussy girl who sometimes didn’t want classes into a young woman whose english is astonishingly good.  she’ll be starting middle school soon.  ann has developed from “just a kid” into a curious girl who loves arts and crafts and has a serious crush on my husband.  i have had them over to play WII, bake cakes and cookies, cook spaghetti and pizza and hamburgers, and play endless card games.  we’ve even cuddled on the couch under my lambswool hello kitty blanket, watching korean cartoons, with the girls fighting over who gets to sit closest to me and who gets to hold the cat in their lap.  and tanigawa is always impressing them with his magic tricks.

i went over to their home to teach alice last night, who has been dutifully studying her english textbooks, so she can get into a decent middle school with a high english test score.  she put her arm around my shoulder near the end of the class and said, “teacher.  friday… it’s our… last class.  you’re moving.  it makes me and my little sister so sad.”  my eyes filled up with tears.  we ended the lesson, and i walked the ten minutes back to my flat, crying like a fool.

so, this one’s for ann and alice yi.  i’ll miss you guys  ❤