The Metamorphosis of the Student… “Thank You, for Not Giving Up on Me, Teacher”

A student showing their gratitude toward the instructors, that makes being a teacher, worthwhile, doesn’t it???  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The first day of school, a former student came back to school to visit his teacher, with a shy and introverted smile, he’d told her, “Thank you, teacher.”

His teacher, Ms. Mei-Yen took him to see me: I’m attending XX Technical University right now, I’d won the first place trophy for XX national competitions, I’m about to head off to England in May to exchange my experiences with others, I will be representing Taiwan in Brazil in August, and compete there, with more international competitors.

As the instructor told me of the records of this student, her face became radiant, and you could see, that she lived, for this precise moment!

“Principal, you have NO idea what he was like back in middle school!  Come, you tell him yourself, WHAT, you were like then, to let the principal know how far you’d come, how much you’d changed.”, the teacher encouraged the student, and the student scratched his head, with a tone of apology, and shyness, started talking about how he was like in the past.

Turns out, that he was, more than rebellious back in middle school, and treated his teacher’s words of encouragements as nagging, he’d bugged his mother about transferring him out of her class, and said, “if there’s Teacher Mei-Yen, then, there’s NO me!”, gladly though, his mother didn’t listen to him, and worked hard, with his teacher, to keep him in check, the teacher had led him, using both strict and lenient methods, in his last year of middle school, he totally didn’t want to study at all, and scored very low in her class, but the teacher saw his potential, urged him to go to summer school, to get himself, up to level academically.

During this particular year, underneath the instructor and his own mother’s methods and consolations, he’d barely gotten into the public agricultural and mechanical institution, Wu-Feng A&M, in the technical high school level, perhaps, it’s because of how he’d become more mature, or maybe because he wasn’t living at home, he’d become more mature, and understanding, and luckily, he was able, to find a goal worth pursuing too.

“So, I’m here, to thank you, teacher, for not giving up on me back then”, that shy line from the student, had made the teacher’s eyes turned red.  “Thank you teacher, for not giving up on me!”, this, is the most encouraging sentence any student can say to the teachers!

He’d mentioned how in training, there was an assortment of scars, big and small, that showed his progress.  He said, that in order to win, to prove, that he could do it, he’d practiced for over fourteen hours each and every day, and that straining his own physical capabilities, and being sleep deprived were processes he must face up to, but gladly, he had his mom and his teacher’s encouragements from LINE, to help him keep going.

He’d mentioned, that how everybody believed in him, that he could get first place in his school, and represent his school in the national competitions, but, this had caused an older schoolmate to give him the hardships, this older schoolmate was ranked first in the last semester’s competitions, he’d given him a hard time, even hid the practice materials from him.

“How did you handle such hardships?  Did it affect your practice?”  I’d imagined, how ordinary people when faced with this sort of difficulties, would probably get angry or agitated, find the other person, have a confrontation and argued with the person, but he’d smiled and calm smile, shook his head, he said, “No obstacle can keep me from achieving my goals.”

Such an amazing line!  The backstabbing, from someone who tried to keep you down can usually do some damage, making the person stagnant, or even, stop doing what s/he wants to do; but, this kid had, used such a soft-spoken tone, and said something that’s so full of strength—“nothing can prevent me from reaching my goals”/

“Principal, I brought a present to you!”

I held his hands, told him, “Your story IS the best gift.”

Maybe you (me included), had had encounters such as this one, this child’s words of persistence can make us think, can’t it?

And so, this, is the coming-of-age, the growth, of this boy, he was once, a trouble maker, and yet, his instructor and school principal never gave up on him, just kept him in the right direction, never allowed him to slip through the cracks, and, his mother too, had a firm hand as well, and, it’s because of the mother and the school’s official and his teacher, working together, to keep this boy in check, pointed him to the right directions, that he didn’t stray and was able to achieve greatness, and, this would be, a success story, in how a teacher manages to change a kid’s life.

Room Number Eight: Zero

Translated…

He came, dressed so colorfully, to pick me up, in his thick cotton T and thick jacket too, he was mixing and matching.  I couldn’t understand exactly, what, he had on, after I’d gotten onto his motorcycle, I’d realized, that when he rode, there was a cramp up section of his cloth behind him, looked like a knapsack, the colors he was wearing was way too distracting, I couldn’t even be certain, if that piece of clothe was actually a part of his attire, or was it, a bag, just felt, that the person sitting in front of me was wrapping a quilt around his body.

A traditionally hand sewn quilt is either in the shape of a square or a rhombus, with the rest of the cloth pieces, trimmed, cut, and sewn back together, saves up on the time.  And, I still couldn’t make out the shape of the quilt he had draped over his own body, supposed, it was, circular, shaped like a “0”.  With the inside edges, a bit worn, been torn, patched up, over, and over, but, I’m quite certain, that it was, O shaped.

A circular O indeed.

The very first time that O took me home, I was extraordinarily careful, to open up my own door, to NOT slam it shut (fearing that he might think I was a bit too rough), he stood right where he was, silent and waiting.  I’d walked up to the second floor, opened up the door on the inside, closed it gently.  After I’d stepped over the levels of the steps, thought I’d heard O, turning the ignition of his motorcycle, but there was just, silence.  As I’d walked through the too cramped up hallways, turned the keys to open up my front door, walked into my room, turned on the lights, and that, was when I heard O’s motorcycle.  I didn’t head over to the window to look, but I knew, that he’d finally gotten on his motorcycle, turned the handles, left my alley on the left.  O is finally gone.

When I’d told him about this later, O thought I was leaning on the windows, spying on him, I was too shy, to even turn around to look downstairs.  This, is a story, of using sounds, to tell where someone is.

There were, countless times where, other friends gave me a lift home, and, they’d parked right by the entryway of my street, parked right next to that tree, I’d told them that I lived in the street, and I’ll walk in myself.  Although the alley was darkened, those friends who’d walked with me would always frown and said that it was, a dangerous path, but, the alleys are simplistic in essence.  That was, a not too long, lit with lamplight alley, at nights, it just didn’t look scary at all.  And, they’d always just, dropped me off, as I’d given them the direction to my place, then, turned around and left.  As O gave me a lift home, I’d told him the same, and I was, hesitant, on telling him where I actually lived.

However, O was extremely patient, asked me which house I was in.  Rode into the alley, slowed his speed, and, as we rode past the buildings, he’d inquired, then, slowly, moved forward.  I told him, that dropping me off here would be fine, but he kept riding.  I had to, tell O where my place was, I’d pointed to the mailbox downstairs (to not make the identification ambiguous), and pretended that I was only, casually, describing it to him, like I was just, telling about how there is a great noodle shop or French patisserie, and I do love beef noodles and French desserts.

Oh, this, is my favorite places to eat.

I’d lived here long, clung on to this room that’s seemingly fallen ill.

I don’t know if O gets it, telling him where my room was, was such an intimate act.  I’d clearly known, that who knows where my room is, who had been inside, and who hadn’t.  I could easily, give out my address, as people asked to send me a postcard, but that, would just be, a long line of meaningless words, but, I’d raised my arm, pointed toward my place.  I’d turned the keys in the silvery and beaten up door, walked onto to that gray stone stair, when I was being watched, during those times, my room, that’s hidden inside the alley, will be just as frightened as I was.

Later on I’d asked O why he’d stayed that long, O said it was to make sure you’d gotten in safe.  From the alleyway to my room, one stairs, three doors, this short a distance, does O think that I might go missing?  Or, does he see, that where I live is actually quite complicated, that there’s a lot between the door and my room, how much had O predicted?  Does he have faith, that he won’t stumble and fall?

O, can be found, it is a symbol for reconstruction or something that’s about to happen, it’s not even materialistic.

O is actually a song from a soap opera that I loved.  The male protagonist, burned himself out completely, loving his woman, a man who’s spent and drained out, worked hard, to protect another life just like his own.  Such a moving story.

A short while ago, I’d finished another movie.  In it, O was an older styled fighter plane, the man flew on that plane voluntarily and died.  As the scene ended, the man’s eyes grew big, and, as he zoomed into the lens, the way he looked became clearer, focusing in on his eyes, but, you can see all around the man, that the storms are still raging.  Above O, his eyes showed of an excitement, about to tear up.

And, he will never be crying again.  People always loved to say: resetting to zero.  Toward the number zero, my twenty and thirty year old friends had a ton of stubborn beliefs.  There were even a lot of teens who say that they wouldn’t want to live beyond thirty, I’d read up on that in a lot of books too.  but, nobody actually died, after they reached thirty, none, from my friends.

I’d never been like that though.  I don’t expect that everything will start all over again at age thirty, or imagine, that I was, collected by zero too.  This still doesn’t mean I’m practical or anything, I just, don’t want to have the concepts of numbers, don’t want to begin, from zero to one, to nine, to being human.  Being born as zero, I am really sorry for that.

I’d once believed, that everything gets returned back to zero again, and now, I won’t ever believe that again.

I’d started talking to O like this in the autumn, and, there was a zero in the month we’d begun.  O is a guy that gets picked on easy, before I pushed him to his limits, he’ll agreed to just about everything.  But, as I closed in on him, he will not budge and let me win, he must, kept his zero intact.  In my room, as we talked on the phones in the early hours of midnight, O told me so.  I held onto my cell, and wanted to tell O, but I didn’t.

(O, this room can take death, but it can’t alter, the lines, leading up to death.)

The October with O in it, the hole leading to my room started deepening, I must walk into it, step, by step.  I knew that the next time O came, he will surely, set foot into my bedroom.  He will see the room, at the end of this hallway, and, as he’d opened up the windows, he will bear witness to the layers and layers of steel windows, in the mornings, the light that came in will also be separated, I live in the severed rectangle, with the nights as the days, and days, as nights.

And, he would be, the only O in the room.  Circular, just like eyes.  Would blink from time to time, but, never lose that shape.  This is, my very last, they prayer of O.

So from this, you can see, how desperate she wants someone in, but, she knew she must take things slow, because she’s very slow-to-warm-up (as far as I can tell), and, imagine how much TRUST must there be, before someone lets you in, and, she’s slowly, opening herself up to this person, O, but, maybe, he’ll still, break her heart at the very end, who knows, and, if he does, then, he’s just another lesson she must learn, the hard way!

Have Some Empathy

On filial relations, translated…

I’m at fifty-two, at the age of my mother-in-law when we first wed.  still recalled, how when my friends and family heard, that my mother-in-law was only fifty-two, they’d all hollered that I have a “young mother-in-law”.

Yes, my mother-in-law is an active and healthy woman, when I had my firstborn, she’d showed that she would help me take care of things, and so, I’d stayed at my husband’s household, to recuperate.  But, in just a few days’ time, my husband’s older brother and younger sister had something to say about it, said that I’d be tiring my aging mother-in-law out.  But gladly, my own parents gladly took over, and so, I’d taken my son back to my mother’s, and, after I’d had my month of recuperation, I’d taken my son back to my husband’s house again.

My son started crying nonstop, after he was fed, he’d cried, after he was bathed, he also cried; cried during the daytime, and, especially in the nights too, causing my husband’s family to not be able to rest easy, and I’d lost weight over this too.  My mother-in-law was very kind, wanted to help me soothe my son from time to time, but my husband’s older brother and younger sister started saying thing, in the end, they’d told me, “You’re the mother, you need to take care of your child, how can you pawn your son off on mom, while you sleep?  Mom’s already getting old.”

Actually, I’d rarely, troubled my mother-in-law at all, I’d always, kept everything bottled up inside, but, the kindness from my mother-in-law that first few times had made me into an unfitting daughter-in-law.  Later on, I’d had another son, and I’d known well, that I should not trouble my mother-in-law in the month after I’d given birth, that no matter how tired I was, I wasn’t going to ask for anybody to help me out.

After my youngest sister-in-law who’s a career woman gave birth, she’d immediately contacted my mother-in-law, hoped that she could help take care of her newborn, because she only trusted her own mother to do so, and so, my fifty-six year old mother-in-law started nannying her own grandson.  After I’d learned, I didn’t have anything to say, after all, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law are kin, and, a mother should help her own daughter out, plus, my mother-in-law was having a grand time, caring for her grandson.

Finally, my child is grown up, and I should be allowed time to myself.  At which time, my husband’s oldest brother and younger sister started ranting again, “You should have more time now, to take care of our parents.”

I feel, that there should be empathy between people, and you should NOT just keep on asking others to do things for you.  Compared to my mother-in-law who was fifty-two years old back then, don’t I too, have the right, to relax a bit?

And so, this, is a serious case of double standards, and, that just shows, how these traditional Chinese families worked, and because the sister-in-law is the mother-in-law’s daughter, she feels, that it’s okay, to strain HER mother, but not when her sister-in-law gave birth?  What the FUCK was that?  Apparently, selfish people are still “working” here…

The Fires of Our Love, Turned, into Bitter Ashes

The fires of our love, turned, into bitter ashes, and, there’s just, NO turning back from there!  The fires of our love, turned, into bitter ashes, because we’d let this raging love of ours, burned too hard, and, eventually, everything became, scorched, and, everything dissipated…

The fires of our love, turned, into bitter ashes, there’s no way ‘round that, we’d let love run its course, it took us too long, to realize, that we’d burned it out, strained it, and by the time we’d realized this, neither one of us was able to, do anything about this burnt out love of ours.

The fires of our love, used to burn so brightly, kept us warm, through the coldest nights, and now, after all the fires had died, all that remained, where the bitter taste, of what this love used to be, and the remnants, ashes, and, everything still faded out, and the curtains, fell…

The fires of our love, turned, into bitter ashes, and, it’s neither one of our faults, because love had, run ITS course, and became, burnt out, and, there’s no way, of saving something that’s already burnt out like that, is there?  Nope!

The Companionship from the Distance

The ins and outs of life here, translated…

I’m a junior in university this year, I’d accepted a plan from school, it’s called “Distant Accompanying Learning Assistant”, through the computers, I’d interacted with kids from elementary schools by the week, shared conversations with them, helped them with the questions they may have on their homework assignments, and, we’d all interacted like teacher and student, as well as friends too.

The child I am responsible for overseeing was a fourth grader, the first time we’d logged on, she was shy, couldn’t introduce herself to me, and didn’t tell me about her family background, or friendships either.  I’d told myself, to give this child some time, to get used to my accompaniment, and believed, that I will be able to, establish a good relationship with her.

I never had the chance of using computer in distant education before, plus I’d had to make footages of teaching sessions, and so, I’d consulted my professor as well as those students who’d had the previous experiences, to try to plan out the lessons better, and to understand my little student’s personality.

Before the counseling sessions, I’d always spent fifteen minutes, to communicate with this young lady, then, I’d headed, into the lessons, to check her progress, as well as helping her with the math calculations; in the middle, I’d set aside time for trick questions, to stimulate her mind, and she’d, use her wild imagination, to come up with answers I’d never even considered.

In the weekly conversations, I’d allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of what these kids from distant areas are going through, and knew the social interactions of the little girl I was working with, how her family life was like, etc., etc., etc.  I hope, that in her life process, I am an older sister who’d lent her an ear, and gave her the motivations.

So, this, is a good program, set up by the universities, it reaches out to children in less fortunate circumstances, and at the same time, it’d also honed up the teaching skills for the college students, and so, both parties benefitted, and, this young child will totally, carry forth with the feelings of being listened by this “older sister” from college that’s for sure!

Halted

Came with a photograph, of two small boats, sailing across the waters, translated…

As the time slowly got lost I will wait for your return

As that’s become, my only way home

Philosophical, isn’t it???  But, if you relied on someone so much so, that you can’t even find your ways to the places you want to go, then, that would be, codependence, and, we should all know by now, where that leads, don’t we???

The Call of Darkness

Can’t you hear it, ringin’, loudly, in your ears?  The call of darkness, c’mon, you KNOW you want to give in, so, why don’t ya???  You afraid of the costs of your actions?  Don’t be!!!

The call of darkness, I hear it, loudly, from the outside, and, I feel my heart, yearning, desperately, wanting to give in, but, something’s keeping me at a standstill…

The call of darkness, it simply can’t be, NO, it won’t be, ignored, because, eventually, you KNOW you will come willingly, into those arms you longed to be in.

The call of darkness, you can’t deny, the effects it has on you now, so, just give in, and stop fighting it already.  The call of darkness, you can’t resist it, it’s just as, if not even more so than that yearning that Eve felt, as she was, enticed, by that snake, to take that fruit of knowledge…

The call of darkness, no one can resist it, so, just give in, and, allow yourselves, to fall, into those arms that longed for you so.  The call of darkness, don’t resist it, just, give in, and let it, take, complete control over you.

The call of darkness, you won’t be able to, turn away from it, NOBODY can, because the call of darkness is getting stronger, even MORE than the light, and, eventually, you WILL, fall, and allow it, to overwhelm you, to take, a hold of you finally.