Final handprints at SAES

Contributor: Quinten Russo

We are down to the last five days with children in our beautiful, perfect, legacy school.  While bare shelves and walls are the norm any…

Topic: Books, Education, School, Yongsan Legacy

SAES Students handprints on the library walls just before the 60 years old school closes its doors forever

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We are down to the last five days with children in our beautiful, perfect, legacy school.  While bare shelves and walls are the norm any any elementary school this time of year, Seoul American Elementary school is especially bare.
Teachers sit at their desk and chair wondering what building it might be assigned to.  Our personal professional gear was packed last week to meet deadlines and we are using thrift store coffee mugs and drinking Korean “Maxim” since Starbucks at the Embassy closed.  Our children are excited for these last 5 days of Field Day, seeing the Seniors walk through campus this afternoon, and they are loving freebie stickers and leftover paperbacks that teachers are giving them to enjoy over summer.
Probably the most bare place is the legendary SAES Library which now only holds the also legendary fish aquarium. The fish are swimming around hoping the books that were recently boxed up are making it safely to other schools.  Every teacher and child is working feverishly placing handprints on the library walls to cover up the bareness and remnants of straight shelves that can be seen through years of paint and wear.
Students from SAES leaving their handprints on the wall of the school library before it closes its doors forever on June 14th 2019

This is probably our last gesture to tell our old building how much we love it, how it will be missed, how it will always be ours, and to thank the library for giving us wonderful Librarians and decades of amazing literature and media.

Architecturally, the library is at the very center of the main building and all of the “PODS” housing classrooms unique to SAES are housed around the heartbeat library….the place where everyone always fit, the place where the only big challenge was to choose a book among the thousands that lived on these shelves.
By Quinten Russo