Yesterday, when I was walking back home, I saw some of my former students. Nothing special so far, it happened before. I said I saw some former students, but to be more precise they saw me. What I saw was a bunch of teenagers, and one of the girls in the small group shouted: "Oh my God! It's that French teacher!" Don't know if that was a good thing or not. She then said "Hello sir!" in a polite yet not quite friendly way. Without their school uniforms, I don't really recognise them. I don't remember her, or any of the other teens that were at that street corner. They just look like kids. It is not from a distant past, yet my last teaching job is as blurry as if it was in another lifetime. Maybe I am really over it.
That is one problem I still have as long as I live here, as my former workplace was local: I see my former students, even when I don't remember them. I will be always labelled here as "that French teacher". Even when they don't say a thing, there is always the glance they have at me that tells me they recognise me, noticed my presence. Anonymity here is very relative. There are more awkward moments, but still, I will not miss this particular aspect of life here when we finally decide to leave this town. It sometimes feels like seeing yesterday's ghosts, if that makes sense. In a way, I am also a ghost to them.
Disgusted With America
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