Wednesday, May 28, 2014

more kind words

A touching email from one of my fellow teachers, who was also a student in the now-finished "absolute beginners" Korean course I taught (edited for space, style, and privacy):

First of all, I would like to thank you for your time and effort, and for sharing your knowledge of the Korean language.

The course was well-structured and your teaching method was clear and effective; in fact, I use your teaching style for my classes. That's the benefit of being a student: you will learn a lot from your teacher and your classmates. Thanks also for your patience, for being kind and approachable, and for explaining and making difficult tasks easy to understand. You were always prepared and used many resources to make learning fun and exciting. Your preparation and materials were consistently excellent and thorough, and for that you deserved congratulations from me for a job well done. You were one of the best teachers I've ever had. Sad that I won't be able to have class with you anymore. Anyways, we can keep in touch through e-mail.

I think it will take so long to be able to speak beyond a few basic phrases, but rest assured I won't stop learning.

I wish you good luck in everything you do. I will pray for more blessings to be showered upon you.

I can use all the good karma I can get.

Today was our final class. My Absolute Beginners dwindled from six students to only two, but those two remaining students were stubborn and determined to learn. I made them try to order food over the phone tonight—a scary experience even for more seasoned students of Korean. They were great sports and did an admirable job, despite some inevitable Murphy's-Law-style glitches in communication (all three of the delivery guys we called had no idea where St. Thomas Aquinas Hall was). I was proud of how my students handled themselves. Going from nearly zero to ordering food, after only a few weeks of Korean classes, is quite a thing: it took both hard work and a large dose of courage. I'll miss this class. At the beginning of the semester, I'd been wondering whether I'd even teach basic Korean again; I'm glad I made the choice to do so.


1 comment:

John from Daejeon said...

Mike Rowe gets back some of that karma from Travis Mills. That short video of Travis, and his family, is extraordinarily inspiring in today's "why me" world of whiners and not doers.

Looks like I will be watching the full 2013 documentary, "Travis: A Soldier's Story" tonight.