Sharing and exchanging the stories of life here, translated…
In the distance, we’d heard laughter, coming from the UDN headquarters’ conference room, it was too curious, what, was happening in there?
Tilted my head in, turns out, everybody has a book in hand, fighting to get signatures from each other. Turns out, this, was the greet-and-meet for the writers who put their thoughts in the book, The Valise of Love.
The Dual-Identities are Not Difficult at All, the Retired Life are Too Colorful
The guests, met mostly, for the very first time, but, they’d become old friends instantly, they said hi to one another passionately, because they’re all long-term readers of the literary section of the UDN papers, and, they’re all excited, to see the faces behind the articles.
The host, Wei Wei said, the writers who appeared, NOT only did they read other’s stories, they’d also shared their own lives with one another, and kept the dual identities of writers AND fans.
The current principal of Tai-Ping elementary School in Nantou, Wallis, had wanted to become a special eds instructor, but, he’d become a school principal instead. Being young and achieved, he is, already, a father of three.
Ya-Ling Tang, with a bright laughter, because of her albinism, has poor eyesight, but she dealt with her predicament with a positive attitude, and managed to get over her inborn disability, and managed, to get her teaching certificate, and now, she’s a counselor at a technical high school.
Yu-Ching had always wanted to become a school instructor when she was a child, and, as she grew up, she got what she wanted, she’d kept at her persistent attitude to teaching her classes, and she is loved by all her students.
Huei-Ying, Ming-Ming Hsia, Bi-Ling Shih, who were now, enjoying their retirements, other than enjoying writing, all went for their interests: Huei-Ying fell in love with baking goods, Ming-Ming Xia enjoyed nature, the two even took writing classes together; Bi-Ling Shih learned to play a two-stringed Chinese instrument, their retired lives are even MORE colorful than when they were working.
Shifted the Focus Back to the Family, Seeing Dreams Coming True
Ming-Ming Xia who grew up in a village of retired soldiers, used her words, to record down the ins and outs of her childhood, and, she’d published the article, “Family and Faithful Servant”, as a representative article of how she missed her life back in the village of retired army men. She’d written on the past, as well as the present, this time, she’d gotten selected for the story, “Breaking the Case of the Death of the Ten Sisters”, the article described a child, helping a private investigator solve the case of the death of his ten sisters, it was very animated and fun to read. She smiled and told, “I’d enjoyed every moment spent with my family (for instance, cooking, and handcrafts), is the most important thing in my life right now.” Huei-Ying who was once a school teacher, talked about how she was perceived as a strict teacher in her students’ views. After she retired, she became taken, with baking, and would often read up on the recipes until late in the nights. And, everybody in the meeting room is munching down on the goodies she’d made, it’d given her that satisfaction—it is, really hard, to connect her with the stance of a strict teacher now! Other than the memories as a teacher, she’d also written on life itself, she’d stated, “I’m easily satisfied, seeing others around me happy, I’d feel satisfied too.”
“From when I was growing up, we weren’t rich, and so, I’d gone to night school in high school, and during the day time, I’d worked as an errand girl in a trading company.” Bi-Ling Shih said. In order to become a full-time employee, other than her regular work day, she’d given up on her weekends, and worked hard, to get her community college degree, and climbed the ladder, step, by step, and she’d become the CFO of her company at last. That time of hardship when she had to study hard and work at the same time, became the turning point in her life, it’d also became the inspiration of her writing later on too. Since she was younger, she’d hoped to play a musical instrument, to play a beautiful piece. And now, her dreams are coming true, she’s taking lessons in Chinese Er-Hu, and is constantly getting better too.
Follow Your Feelings, and Transmitted the Feelings Through Use of Language
Let’s shift the lenses from the retired writers, to those who are still working hard, the host, Wei Wei believed, that everybody is working hard, to put their lives on paper, and, other than the moving stories they’d cranked out, they’d also offered inspirations to others.
Wallis recalled, that when he was still a principal at school, he’d worked at Cooperation Elementary School in Nantou, as he’d gone to report for duty, he realized, that after he drove away from the plains, he kept going deeper, deeper into the mountains, because this, is a school of tribes children that’s hidden inside the Central Mountain Range. “If I drove to the end of the road, I’ll surely meet up with the school!”, the principal told his tales. Because of their different ways of life, their different views of the culture, Wallis had had a TON of interesting incidences with the local students. Once, in order to get the students to know the 26 alphabets in the English language quickly, he’d waited for his students, bright and early by the front door of the school, and, until they were able to recite ALL twenty-six letters, they would NOT get admitted into class, but, he’d waited for a very long time, and nobody showed up, turns out, that the students are all too afraid, that they’d climbed the walls to get into the school. Wallis loved writing, and wrote down these stories, so people get to experience the life up in the mountains alongside him.
“Are you a foreigner?”, because he looked different from everybody else, since she was younger, Ya-Ling Tang had been looked at with weird gazes, and because of her bad eyesight, normal living routines became harder for her. Ya-Ling recalled, “I’d complained nonstop too, and cried for my own life, but as I got older, I chose to face this with bravery.” She started learning to enjoy her bad predicament, “Because I couldn’t see clearly, I’d learned, to follow my feelings. Once, I’d met a student who was hunted by a gang, the student hid behind me with fear, at which time, having bad eyes is a good thing, because I couldn’t see how ferocious those bad guys looked, I was able to dial up the cops for assistance.” When faced with a conflict, she would write in her blogs, to sort out her feelings, she believed, that other than expressing her emotions through words, she could always bring warmth to others through her writings, and so, she’d written down what she wanted to say to her family, and taped it by their bedroom doors.
Yu-Ching now still kept in contact with the students she worked with, and, when they’re in trouble, she’d helped them out, through her teaching career, she felt, that she’d gained “a TON of kids”. “Half of the Apple Belonged to My Older Brother” was the article that won her the prizes this time, in it, it’d mentioned her two children, the older son is mentally and physically handicapped, and gave the family a TON of troubles. Other than facing this with bravery, she’d quit her day job, honed up on Special Education courses. “For a very long time, I don’t know what I could do for my older son, I felt so helpless.” Yu-Ching slowly told. She’d passed through the troughs of her life now, her kids are both grown, and the older son whom she’d worried over is now, able to work independently. Now, she’d made the goals of becoming a better teacher, a better mother, and hoped that she could continue to record down the moving stories all around her.
Hearing up to here, all of a sudden, I realized, that writing has NO age limit or occupation, because of the accompaniment of words, life became more complete and colorful.
Behind every writer’s stories, there was a different life experience, I hope, those who read up on it, can feel the message they’re trying to transmit and feel the warmth too. Did you feel it too? Let’s all, enter the happiness chorus line of “getting the love out there with words” then!
And so, from everybody’s story, we still learn something about ourselves, and we can connect with their life experiences, even IF we all come from different walks of life, because the writers wrote about L-I-F-E, and life, IS real.