Category Archives: The Education of Children

I Totally Get You

Lesson learned, by the, teacher, in the interactions he has with the school children, translated…

As school is out, waiting for the parents to pick up their young, I’d passed the tuitions collected inside an envelope to the older sister of a pair of young siblings, and, the younger brother’s hand reached for it to grab the envelope, neither refusing to budge.  Out of reflex, I’d said, “the older, why don’t you let your younger brother have it?”, she’d gazed at me with those, innocent eyes, and, let go, unwillingly; and the younger brother who got his way gloated, cunningly, grabbed a hold of the, envelope.

The little girls who were watching the interactions, all started getting loud, and of them, the oldest girl, extended that hand in empathy, patted the girl on her shoulders, told her, “I totally get it, I completely, do!”

That stunned me a bit, with that apologetic mean, I’d looked over at the young girl, and, curiously asked the girl who’d patted her classmate’s shoulders, “aren’t you the youngest?  How could you understand what she was going through?  Don’t all your sister let you have the things that you wanted?”  “No!  Whenever my younger cousins came over, I’d had it, coming!”, she’d given me a response that I never expected to hear.  Then, all around us, the words came coming at us, “Yeah, not only did we have to let the younger kids have our toys, when the older kids come by, the adults tell us, ‘older brother doesn’t come here all the time, just let him have it.’  There are, more toys than one, and yet why did he have to want to play with the one I’m playing with?”, can’t believe, that the envelope with the tuition caused a ton of upsets, all rushing out like the waterfalls.

Or maybe, it’s because we’d been adults, too long, we’d forgotten, how it’d felt being, taken; or maybe, because of the busyness of life, we’d hoped to, swiftly, get through the nitty-gritty, the unimportant matters, using our self-righteous fairness, but rough ways, to resolve the issues between the young children, disregarding, how everybody is a complete being, that being this careless can, cause someone to feel, hurt, or even, damaged.

I’d watched the group of young children in silence, and, skimmed every face, and came to understand, that hidden underneath all these innocent faces, there were, the icebergs of their own, separate, emotions.  I’d felt really awful, that in the moment’s time, I’d only cared about the younger boy’s emotions, and not paid enough attention to the older girl’s, I didn’t know how I can, effectively, help the young girl who’s an older sister who probably, felt, hurt.

Or maybe, I could, give the envelope with the tuition to the older girl while her younger brother still sat in class.  Or maybe, I should wait until the parents arrived, then, hand off the bag, instead of having the kids, take the envelopes home to give to their, parents.  Or maybe I should, put their separate tuitions in separate, envelopes, and hand it to them separately……………but, too late, I shouldn’t keep going now, shouldn’t blame myself too much.  Or maybe, I should, allow these, tiny, upsets to, ferment in the minds of these kids, to saturate on their, own.  Or maybe, that’s the price that every child must pay, in order, to, become, adults.

And so, this just showed, how the careless act of the adult can easily, DAMAGE a young child, and as adults, we are usually, too, careless, not paid enough attention to the children’s feelings, because most of times, we have our own problems that we’re having troubles dealing with on our own, so, these things, they happen, and, we don’t get our, do-overs in them.

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Filed under Education, Life, Observations, Wake Up Calls, The Education of Children, Child Development/Education of Children, The Observer Effect, Properties of Life, Socialization, "Professional" Opinions

The Purposes of the Extracurricular Courses, Getting My Child to Explore Her Interest Profiles

How the parents “groomed” their young offspring, to prepare him to ready to take over the business, with a total disregard of the child’s interest profiles, and this is just, AWFUL, for this kid, and the parent is, really B-A-D too, pushing his own young, to ready him to take over the family business!  Translated…

My husband’s best friend, S is a businessman, he’d jam-packed his schedules, lived and worked, with a business suit on him, drove the imported vehicles to the business meetings, the wages he’d brought in, is probably, multiples from the total my husband and I are, making.  S and his wife has a pair of daughters, we’d gone out on family dates with our children outdoors or to travel; the children who are around the same ages, busied themselves in play, while the adults, we’d, shared the ups and downs of work, and of raising our own children.

One day, S went to a mechanic close to our home to get a tune-up, and asked my husband out for coffee, and my husband took our four-year-old out with him, as the fathers are conversing, my son busied himself with the blocks, S started commending my husband for how focused our son was, and how he was able to, stay at a task a long time, then, started ranting on how his own wife signed their son up for many of the toddler classes, as she saw the recommendations of the classes for young children online, she’d rushed to sign him up.  Recently, Mrs. S took their daughter to the classes on “knowing how to manage our emotions”, and “dessert making” courses, and on the weekends, they’d went out, and it’d made him confused, and he’d felt, helpless of the situation.

As my husband mentioned this to me, I’d first felt, that Mrs. S was taxing herself out, and couldn’t understand why she was doing that, and I wasn’t at a place to comment on the matter, but I’d wondered, what, does S, a father believe, to be classes fitting for his own young?  Turns out, that S found the values of a friend who’d owned a family business, who’d made his own son stay by him at the office, to watch how the adult operated the things, to talk about managing the company with him, learn the lessons in managing a business with the adult, from a young age, the child got a first-hand experience in internship, to know what’s going on in the business.

illustration from UDN.com

S believed, that this, was what his own son should be learning, that the rest is, pointless, there’s no need to spend any extra money on the other courses, or to take up the talents of music, or art, or dance, etc., etc.

As my husband finished telling me, I’d felt that chill inside my mind, is what they’re learning useless or not, such a heavy subject!  Thinking about it, I am, a mom who’d, “made” my children take a ton of “useless” classes too then.  Recalling, I’d taken my daughter to dance lessons, piano, performance art, sports, to the concerts, and from time to time, we’d signed up for the pottery courses too; from when she started speaking, and can express herself, we’d started, discovering the activities that she was into, that she didn’t, object in doing.

This summer, I’d signed us up for astronomy camp, it’d started up her interest in the Greek myths of the constellations, and the locations of the constellations, we’d gone to the library, checked out a series of books on the mythologies, and astronomy too, to help her answer the inquiries about the subject of astronomy that I’m no expert in.

On the weekends, my daughter would play the music of Chopin or Vivaldi that she wanted to listen to; as the exams ended at school, she would make a wish to go see the performances of drama groups, or to sign up for a arts-and-crafts course, or maybe, this is how, at her young age, she finds relaxation from.

Looking back at all of these, I’d asked: then, how do I feel about all of these?  Using my favorite writer, Lee’s words, “Arts is the attempts of humans in communication with God, in the vast openness of nature, the darkened streets at night, a home for those souls wandering lost.  It’s a realm of freedom, the planet that’s surrounded by the oceans, are all of us, humans, created, equal.”

I’d never considered, “if it’s useful” to choose for my children, their extracurricular activities.  If in the world of adults, we’d need coffee to help reduce the annoyances of work, and needed a bit of alcohol, when we hit the troughs in our lives; then, for the kids, the music, the stories, the pictures, the pottery, the outdoors activities, we’d exposed them to, in the process of their getting into the activities, they are being, inspired, moved, and led, this is, paving that invisible path in my daughter’s life, to help her tap into the activities to busy herself with when in the future, she feels alone, or bored—or to exercise until she’s completely drained, then return back to her work post, refreshed; or to rush to a concert, a play, and after a good cry, she will know, that she’d understood other own life, a little more than before.

This was the openness she will have in her life, like how Lee told try to communicate with the heavens up above, or with ourselves, to start off a conversation that leads us into the unknowns, no matter who you may be, this process of introspection, of self-discovery, is equal and free.  That, is what I, believe, it’s what as a mother, I want to, instill, into my own daughter’s, life.

Everything we discovered, may be useless, it just makes her, happy.  But, happiness, is quite, useful, in the, grander scheme of, life.

And so, here, we have two sets of parents, one who gets his own young into the programs that he believes will be useful for his own young son’s future (hello, hello, hello???  He’s just a K-I-D!!!), and every step the father planned out for his son, was “grooming” him to take over the company, with a total DISREGARD of how his own young may NOT be interested in his own field of work.

Then, there’s the mother of the friend of this man, who’d exposed her own young to a ton of varied activities, as the kid hadn’t shown any specific interests yet, and this other young girl, has a fuller spectrum of experiences of variety of activities than the son of the hotshot businessman!

Whose child would you want to be?

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Life, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, The Education of Children

The Elementary School Age Student Used a Craft Knife, Held His Classmate at Knifepoint Awhile Ago in Hsinbei City

Nobody got her/his neck slashed, this time, but next time, who knows, the blade may still be in the knife, and, blood will be, spilled them, and this happened in a classroom, with an adult, the teacher, is negligent, at least, for NOT making sure, that improper horse play doesn’t happen under her watch!  Off of the Newspapers, translated…

The Department of Education Intervened to Counsel, to Enforce the Moral Education of the Elementary Schools as Well as Enforcing the Laws of Safety in the Schools

In an elementary school in Hsinbei City awhile ago, there was a student, during the break periods, took a knife, held it against his classmate’s neck, the victim student’s parents were unsatisfied how the school handled the matter, posted the incident on the local Facebook groups, demanded that the other child’s parents start disciplining their own young, and demanded that the school instructors get tougher on disciplining the students.  The Department of Education stated, that they will have the school counsel the students continually and they will enforce the education of moral responsibilities, and the law too.

At break period on Tuesday this week, a twelve-year-old male student from an elementary school in Hsinbei City was horseplaying with the classmate, he’d picked up a craft knife, held it against a fellow student’s neck, it’d thrilled the other students around.  As the victim student’s parents learned, they got furious, and started calling out on the local FB group: “Parents of the child who’d allowed him to bring the craft knife to school, DO watch your own young better, and the principal of the school, the teachers too, man up, don’t wait until a student gets severely injured, and then, make the useless apologies.”

The parent also wrote, “to the parents of the child who brought that craft knife to school, DO view your child’s behaviors more seriously, I got all the time, and I’ll wait for you at the principal’s office, don’t run from this.”

as I didn’t know better can no longer be used as a valid excuse here! Illustration from online

The principal of the school stated, because the instructor worried that as the students were using the crafts knife, they risk cutting themselves, that’s why the instructor had collected the knife right after art class, and, the knife that the child grabbed didn’t have the blade in it.  Because the male student couldn’t find a more proper way to interact with his peers, and the school will continue to counsel this male student.

The Department of Education stated, that the male student, during the break period, when he was playing with the other students, held the knife used in art class close to the student’s neck for close to two seconds, the blade was already out, and as the other students reminded the instructor, the instructor collected the knife without the blade back.  As the school had been notified, they’d called up the parents, and told them what had happened, and discussed the means of counseling needed for the students, to avoid incidents like this from recurring.

The school already had the counselors stepping in, to help the male student learn in class better, to help him relate to his classmates in a proper and safe manner, at the same time, reminded the students, if they find something that’s not quite right, to immediate tell their classroom teachers.

And so, this, is what happens, as children horse played with one another, and this time, thankfully, nobody was injured, or killed, but, next time, it may not be as lucky, and the instructor, the school is at best, negligent, in not instructing these young school age children what is proper and improper ways of playing with each other, besides, the kids are modeling the behaviors, from what they encounter on the internet, in the news media, on the soaps, there’s NO way of preventing that NO scene of violence enter into their, eye sights, and so, as adults, you can only, make sure, that you keep the sharp objects out of these kids’, reaches.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Cost of Living, Crime & Punishment, Education, Life, Messed Up Values, Modeling Behaviors, Observations, Properties of Life, The Education of Children, Unsafe in the Schools, Violence in Schools, White Picket Fence

A Child from the Distant, Stars…

A child from the distant, stars, for some reasons unknown (‘cuz fate’s, way too cruel, a joker, maybe???), her/his “spaceship” had, CRASHED onto the earth…

A child from, the distant, stars, finding it hard, to live down here, on the, planet, knowing, that the far, far away galaxy is, calling her/his name, s/he tried to, talk to those, extra-terrestrial, beings, to connect, but had been, experiencing difficulties, since the start of, preschool or was it, kindergarten.

with great concentration, engaged in the activities that are, considered interesting to no one else but, her own, self…photo from online

And before long, this child from the distant, stars, is outcasted, by those who are, from the, same mold as, “ordinary”, those who are, “normal”…

A child from, the distant stars, will one day, fly up, to the ends of, a distant, galaxy, where s/he will, find others who are, just like her/him, but until, those, nonexistent wings of her/his, start popping out of her/his back, s/he is, tied to, the grounds of this, god damn, planet.

And, no matter how much this child from the, distant stars, longed to fit in, with the rest of, the “general population”, s/he will always feel like, the odd one, out!

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, The Education of Children

My Angel Who’s Developmentally, Delayed

With the availabilities of early intervention programs now set up fully, the resources provided for these families, these children have, an equally bright future, as any other child!  Translated…

Remembered when my youngest daughter was just born, time flew quick, she’s already, in the, fourth grade now, but, still needed someone around to help her with her daily routines, because she’s, developmentally, delayed.

That day, as I first set eyes on her, my baby of about no more than three kilograms, I’d felt moved, but because of jaundice, she was kept in the hospital for observations, and a week later, I was finally able to, take her home.  Her older sister of two years started out in the toddler classes already, with the elders at home watching, I’d, returned back to work.  The seemingly ordinary days, got turned upside down as I took her to get her vaccines.  Her pediatrician noted how she didn’t match up to the growing curves of the average, and, referred her to the rehabilitation centers, then, to the larger hospitals for the assessments, in the end she received a handicap manual.

Then, we’d begun, on this long hard path of, early intervention, thankfully the shop I worked in was more than understanding, allowed me to only work part-time.  Recalled how when we first started in the early intervention programs, the instructor used an assortment of means, to get her to kneel on her knees, to squatting, to finally, using the walker, to help her walk longer.  And, day after day, after day, finally, one afternoon, with her, unsteady legs, she’d, stood, for two whole minutes, all of the physical therapists, and I, we were, very, moved, the hard training, finally, paid, off.

programs with the activities that help these special needs children with acquiring the skills they need…photo from online

That same year, she’d, successfully started in the preschool program that was a part of the local elementary schools.  And the resources she was in need of, all came, one by one, with the special needs assistant, the instructors who looked after her especially, the physical therapy courses……………and every semester, the school officials would have an IEP meeting.  Although, from the start, she was like a soft ball of dough, but now, she is able to speak in simple sentences, can dress herself, and can, feed herself too (although, she may drop the food all over the floors from time to time).

I’d forgotten where I’d read this, “taking a snail out for that walk, you will, see things very, differently”.  The instructor advised that my youngest daughter go into the group, to increase her social skills, that it would help her in her future.  Because of my youngest, I saw, a different scene, the days before us, is long, I want to, walk with her, toward her next, major, milestone.

And so, this, is on the resources that are now, available to the special needs children as well as their, families too, and, now, the parents wouldn’t feel as stressed as they would’ve been, from years before, because the field of special needs is more developed than before, and so, these special needs children can still, have a full experience of life.

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, The Education of Children

The Child, Hiking UP that Mountain Range, isn’t, Problematic

How this bright kid got labeled as a troublemaker in class, on the education of the children, translated…

In the heat of the summer, the group of us good friends met up for a camping trip on Fushou Mountain.  The day after the tents were set up, the Y family planned to take the kids to trek the Hehuan Creek Trails, and maybe, to climb the western peak of the Hehuan Mountains.  Y and the family of three children had already, hiked many tall mountains.  The outdoors camping became natural to them, I was so in awe of them.  The following afternoon, the family returned back to campsite, the painful calls or screams.  What’s even more surprising, Y mom told me that it was her son’s wish to hike up the Hehuan Mountains.

Y’s son is enter the sixth grade, can be active, or he can sit quietly, he is excellent in everything he does, the swim competitions, the fluent Taiwanese speech competitions, or helping to set up the tents at the campsites, it’s, quite impressive.  This introverted, mature-than-his-years young lad made me curious, and so, as Y mom told me that this camping trip/hike was the older son’s wish, I was even more in awe; but Y’s face fell ashen, she’d told me two things, which made her worried, proud, as well as, helpless too.

The homeroom instructor wrote on her older son’s report card, “Very intelligent, can’t follow the rules of the group.  Often stated his ideas, and if he continues, there may be a chance he might turn bad.” As I’d heard I was, shocked, as well as, confused.  Y mom told me what her son’s homeroom instructor stated: when the older son is between classes, he’d hollered to his classmates to play cards; as the instructor explained the term, “lingering on” and as the teacher added the explanations, the older son blurted out, “Durians taste great!”; during the class meetings, the instructor would call out the seating numbers of those who’d misbehaved: two, three, four, five………the older son then told, “You’re one short for a straight flush!”, the whole class burst into, laughter.

Y mom asked her son about all of these, and demanded that he put up his playing cards, and asked, why he’d not played Chinese chess like he used to from before?  He’d responded back, the classmates always lose to him too fast, and he couldn’t, find a good enough opponent to play with after awhile.  And the homeroom teacher stated that he didn’t follow the rules was because he felt that the uniform made him uncomfortable because of the material, he’d taken it off, hidden it in his drawers and as the teacher started grilling him, he’d, pulled it out, and put it on.

Y mom sighed, started telling me the interlude of how her older son hiked up the Shihmen Mountain with the grandparents; that day, he’d felt like it was only a stroll for him, that he’d not had enough exercises, and on their ways back, they passed by the Hehuan Pointy Mountain, he’d begged his parents to climb it, that it takes about thirty minutes.  Y’s mom hesitated, and the son thought it was an okay from her, then, ran off.  Y’s mom started losing it, kept going to and from the hiking entrance and the parking lot, trying to find her son, and finally, she saw that tiny shadow, leaping up and down on the way, coming back down the mountains, her son, she got so furious, stopped talking to him on the way home.  This trip on the western peak of Hehuan Mountain, was originally a punishment, wanted him to think about what he’d done wrong, then, she will decide whether or not to ground him.

I’d understood what’s behind Y’s mom’s helplessness, as instructors, how would we not know, the trials of, taking care of a class full of, students.  And, as a mother, trying to guide her own son to help him shine with his best traits, it’s also, quite difficult, to get it right, there’s no standardized answer to that.

illustration from UDN.com

That leaping up and down, like a monkey on the trees, is a little boy whom she’d, held the hand of, introduced to nature, that older boy who loved the land, nature, a healthy lad.  He too, is on the treks to, growing up, and there would be the forks in the roads, the passages that led him into the forest that made him, distracted; also, the untraveled pas that called out to him to venture towards; as well as the valleys, the creeks, with the mosses that made the rocks slippery, that he may trip and fall on.  He has to be able to hold that quieted conversation with himself, needs to develop a sense of judgment for right and wrong, these enriching trips is raising a kid who has the big dreams of hiking up mountains, taller than the ones he’d hiked up from before, how can this be bad?  Walking on the ridges, seeing the large mountains, and the clouds, how can a child like this, behave crazily?

And because we are tiny, we’d, gained that humbleness, that was the very first lesson we learned, as we first, walked into the mountains and the, forests.

If the instructors are willing to take the time to understand the other sides of the children, listening to them, try to understand them, help in communication, guiding by dialogue, maybe, the instructors will find, that this young child who’d used his tiny steps, step by step, hiking up the large mountains, isn’t misbehaving at all, he has a steady pace, and the eyes that gazed into, the distance, a gem that’s, glowing, just like how his skin was tanned by the sun, walking on the ridges of the mountains he’d, trekked.

And so, this is on how a child is, misunderstood, this kid has a different style of learning, and the child didn’t fit in to the school’s curriculum, probably because he’s too intelligent, and catches on too quickly, which is why he’d become, disruptive, bursting out those comments in class, which led the instructor to believe that he was, misbehaving, but he really wasn’t, he’s just, longing for something that’s, more challenging to him, he’s, way ahead of the rest of his class. 

A kid like this can easily gets SCREWED over by the current education systems, because there’s NO custom-made curriculum to fit HIS learning interest profiles!

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Innocence Lost, Life, Properties of Life, The Education of Children, Wake Up Calls

Yang’s Using the Innovative Teaching Methods in Physical Education, Using the Experience Education to Help the Student Acquire the Right Values of Life

Getting the entire class involved in designing the activities for all, she’d helped the students gain empathy, and made sure that those students with special needs are also, involved in the physical education courses too, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Hsinbei City Banciao High School instructor, Yang worked hard to innovate the kinesiology courses, set up the specialty instructors’ group with other physical education teachers in the country, to develop the creative, innovative teaching materials.  Through the teamwork, the project-based learning methods, the modules of physical education, incorporating the technologies, helped the students find their passions for the exercises, the sports, and regained their self-confidence, she’d competed in the creative kinesiology lesson plans competitions and won many awards, she had won the Teacher of the Year Award this year for the innovations in teaching physical education. 

the coach, with the students in basketball practice!

photo from online

Other than a homeroom instructor, she’s also, the boys’ basketball coach, the P.E. teacher, also the Kinesiology Science Center’s Seed teacher, gotten involved in the NPDL, the Department of Education’s QPE plans, toured as a guest lecturer, shared her experience, showed her passions in all areas of education.

One of her student, Yen, with cerebral palsy, who’d often, “drove” her electrical wheelchair around the school.  Yang-Yang, the visually impaired student who can see no more than six inches before his face, is quite agile, can always dodge the obstacles right before he’d, bumped into them.  At a substitute for the special needs instructor, she’d gotten the opportunity to work with these students, and, promised to give them, “a P.E. class for you like everybody else!”

First, Yang used the health and leisure activities to help increase the depth of her courses, to give the students who has her for electives a first hand experience of how the handicapped had experienced things differently, and had the students’ input, in coming up with the fitting physical activities for the whole class to get involved with, through the test trials, the amending the procedural, through the team games, to help the students gain empathy, to having the students sit in the wheelchairs, with the patches covering their eyes, to have the students imagine, the challenges the special needs students may face, and how they’re to, get pass the challenges.

Yang told, that the belief of education she wanted to pass to her students is turning the limits to opportunities, through the creativity of the classes, she’d, set up the what seemed to be, impossible P.E. course.

with the assortments of materials she uses, to design the P.E. activities…photo from online

And so, this instructor not only, taught her kids that exercise is important, in staying health, through getting the class involved in designing the activities that the special needs students can also get involved in, she’d taught them about empathy as well, amazing, this woman, in having her students get involved in the hands-on, to teach them about accepting those who are, different than they are, and that is something, that her class will find useful, even outside of the school setting.

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Filed under Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Interpersonal Relations, Life, News Stories, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, Teaching by Example, The Education of Children, Values

The Juliet Who Walked into, That, River

The memories, of how you’d, saved a student from committing suicide, of how she’d, thanked you, by sending you that, package to let you know, that she is now, okay…translated…

On the eve of Confucius’s birthday, I’d recalled something that’s, happened from the past.

I’m a psychiatrist in practice, and worked with the Department of Education, the school instructors, made the lectures of suicide preventing to the instructors in the elementary and middle school levels.  One evening a little more than a decade ago, I’d gone to a middle school by the river in the south of the city to visit.  Recalled that that evening, the seminar held in the evenings was very, welcoming, in the time, I’d had the seventy to eighty instructors in the audience to split themselves into groups of three, sharing within the groups, their encounters of their students’ having mutilated themselves, or suicide attempts, or having lost a student to suicide.

During the break, an experienced female instructor came and told me a story.  This almost retired Chinese instructor told me, that she had taught a girl.  To help her students feel motivated in learning, she’d assigned the play of “Romeo & Juliet” in her Chinese language courses, for the students to fight for the roles that they wanted to play.  As it came time to select the Juliet, normally, it would be the prettiest girl in the class who raised up her hand, but it wasn’t.

Although, she was, hesitant, she’d still, let the girl play the role, as that female student had, wished to play the role of, Juliet.

As the play successfully got finished, this event, got lost, in the busyness of the semester, didn’t leave a single, ripple, it seemed.  What caused the waves, was that winter, on a day too cold.  One day after class, this girl whom nobody noticed, walked out of the school.  Nobody paid any attention, that she’d, walked over the embankment, and, into, the, river.

And maybe, it was, how cold it was on the day.  Or maybe, it’s the person who’d wanted to commit suicide being, hesitant (The to be or not to be), this adolescent finally, made her way, back up the shores, entered back into the school, and, the school officials found her completely wet (maybe, frozen too!).  The thrilled instructors ushered her to the principal’s office, not known what they should, say to her.

illustration from UDN.com

This Chinese instructor recalled, as she was called to the principal’s office, she’d, learned that this young girl had, attempted suicide.  “I wasn’t her homeroom instructor, had no idea of her background, and her situation.  But this kid told the principal, that she wanted, to, see me.”  And yet, being young, the instructor felt anxious then, not known how to counsel a student who’d, just, almost entered into the gates of, hell.

The moment the instructor was forced to walk into the principal’s office, she’d had a thought, pretended that she’d not know what had just happened, as she saw the child, with the fallen leaves stuck on her waist and areas below, she’d, rushed up to her, exclaimed, “My Juliet!  What happened to you?”, and hugged the girl, really tight.

Time flew quickly, as the graduating class graduated, life fast-forwarded close to a full decade’s time.  She’d also, forgotten about this, particular, student, until one day, in school, she’d received a package from that young woman.

Inside it, what would, she find?

She was surprised, and, uneasy, slowly, opening up the package.  There were, the copies of pages of paper.  It was from the girl’s middle school, technical high school, community college, the certifications she’d earned, the awards certificates, and the diplomas.

That evening, in the middle school south of down, that instructor slowly told of the story of then, and hoped, that in the future, in my suicide prevention seminars, she could, share the story she’d, told me.  The instructor looked very, peaceful, but I was, really moved inside.

Actually, in the hundreds of seminars for the past decade or so, I’d not mentioned this story often.  Or maybe, I have, yet to get over the shock it’d, left me, as I’d told this story to the audience, everything stopped whispering, and there was NO sound, and I saw some instructors, secretly, wiping away their, tears.

Confucius birthday comes every year, but I keep on thinking, what, better gift there was, than this, package, on this, day, to celebrate, the teachers?

And so, this is, the huge difference that, a school teacher’s care toward a student can have on the student’s life, this instructor’s hug of the student, helped her turn her own life around, and it’d helped her gain the strengths to keep on going in her life, and the student gave the best present back to the instructor who’d helped her, by sending the package of all of her, important milestone markers, to let the instructor know, that she’s, okay now.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Life, Problems of the Teenage Years, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, The Education of Children, the Finality of Life, The Teenage Years, Turning One's Life Around, Values, Wake Up Calls, White Picket Fence

Who’s Coming to Lunch

The kindness shown, by this young mother, toward a complete stranger, teaching her own young daughter the lessons of how important it is, to care about the world around them, translated…

After the Great Heat, the temperatures continued to rise, the entire island became, baked, I was so hot in the kitchen, I had to, desert my cookware, to escape the battlefields.  This was so totally different than that freeze frame of the three-generations sitting together, with the younger mom, and young child, dressed up to the nines, the elderly woman, in her, floral printed cloth shirt, with the old flipflops.  “The stingy daughter abusing the mom?”  “Troubles between the mother and daughter-in-law?  Intentionally, given her a lesson?” don’t know why, my mind started, running through all the possibilities then.

As they ate, they’d rarely exchanged any words at all.  Are they, following that rule of: silence is golden?  Or, are they, following the etiquettes of eating, don’t talk with your mouth full?  The mother, watched over that young girl, patted her face, wiped her mouth away, with gentle love and care, but to the elder, there’s, the repeated, “don’t hurry, eat it slowly.”  As the steaks were served, the mother cut it up into smaller bits and pieces, pushed it to the elderly woman, told her, to eat it, slowly, to chew it down completely, and yet, there’s, that coldness of tone of voice, and we can’t feel any of the heart of a daughter that’s, well rounded enough at all.

kindness towards, someone who’s in, need

photo from online

But, the elderly woman seemed not to care, just focused on the food that’s, before her, based off of her age, she had, a huge, appetite, like she’d not been fed for a long, long time, that she’s planning on, filling up the vacancy that’s inside of her stomach all at once, she’d, gulfed down the salad that was a tiny hill of green, and had two bowls of soup already, the eight-ounce steak, totally, cleaned off her plate, the chocolate cake, the Boston Crème Pie for desserts, all gone, ice cream…three scoops in a breath…as I watched her, I’d, started, exclaiming inside, “Wow, eating contest winner, I’d, read you, wrong!”

And, the elderly woman finally, burped, and got up, satisfied, “Thank you, ma’am, for treating me to this meal, mighty kind of you!” she’d continued thanking the woman, then, turned around, left.  The young girl lightly complained to her mother, “she stinks!  So sweaty, smelled too, bad…………”, that young mother told the child, “Grandma had been, picking up the recycling materials in the heat, look how hard she was sweating, then, you know how hard she’d worked, to, make a living for herself.”

So, they’re not, a family then, to the point, of never meeting before, it’s a wonder, they’re, eating their own meals, with no words of, exchange.  It’s just, that this young married woman had, passed by the elderly, and, felt sympathetic toward her, and invited her to the meals, and, the elderly was lucky enough, to meet someone kind, and got a fulfilling meal.

The steak meals of less than four hundred dollars, I can pay for it too, but, inviting an unknown elderly to come along and eat with me, that’s, a thought I’d, never had.  The young mother’s, “not giving to her like she’s a charity case, and made sure the elderly’s pride was cared for”, her act of, kindness, it’d, given her own young, the best, example.

And so, this is the story of kindness in the world, that the writer had, observed, and, this young mother is, amazing that she’d, invited this unknown elderly woman, whom she’d bumped into on the streets, noted that she was having a difficult time in her life, and, invited the elderly woman along for a meal, and you just don’t get that enough these days, because, we’re all, keeping our heads down, watching for our own means, we don’t really, have the mind, nor the time, or even, the energy to care about, someone else’s needs, and this young mother was a good example for her own young daughter.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, The Education of Children, Values, White Picket Fence

A Bump-in in the Elevator

The teacher’s seeing a former student again, and remembered how he’d been in her class, translated…

The night we saw the graduates off, I watched the students lined up, gotten onto the podium, received their awards, bowed, then climbed back down.  There is, NO graduating class this year, and no emotional rollercoaster ride either, I’d, gazed toward the podium, listening to the announcer, “let’s welcome the drummers of XX Middle School!”, suddenly, a familiar shadow pulled me in.

It’s him!  The graduate from two years ago.  He’d transferred here in the sixth grade, that’s why I’d paid close attention to him—unlike how the higher graders in the legends that walked on air, he always sat quiet, at the corner of the class, waiting on me to call on him, or give him something to do; unlike most of his class that are, rowdy and boisterous, he always waited until the very last moment, then asked me what I was doing next, then, silently, finished the tasks I’d given him to tackle.  And, maybe it’s because of how quiet he is, I’d often worried, that someone in class would pick on him, and I’d, watched over him especially.

like this!

photo from online

Dong-dong!  Dong-dong!  Seeing him use all of his might to wave those drum sticks, he’d gotten taller too, I’d felt, relieved and glad.  As the students were finished with their performances, I couldn’t hold back my emotions, ran over to him and asked, “Do you still remember me?”, he’d nodded shyly, then, pushed the drums into the elevators.  In that moment we connected, I’d waved toward him, before the elevator door closed, I’d told him to keep working hard at it.

Then, I’d, never seen him again, and yet, that feeling of becoming emotional when we did meet, seemed to, stuck in that freeze frame of my mind, it’d become, one of the most unforgettable graduation I’d ever, attended.  Child, are you all right?  How are you all? And so, this is that moment that lingered on inside your mind, of how you saw the growth of a student from your class, how he’d, come out of his, shells, finding something he’s good at doing, which was a way he could use, to connect to the world outside.

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Filed under Education, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life, The Education of Children