Hearts of Gold,
What I am learning is that the Chinese women have open, yearning, willing, hearts of gold. When I was first introduced to the idea of coming to China to teach my reaction was not positive. I was afraid. I did not know anything about China or the people. When I see the news it only presents the worst or those in authority or government. I don’t study history books and have never studied about Chinese history. It goes back a long way and there is much that can be learned about the lives of those that lived before. It is the lives of those that live today and present themselves to me each day in my class that I wish to write about.
Grace is a tall (usual for Chinese) elegant, intelligent young woman who yearns to follow her heart to America and become an international nurse. When I arrived and taught my first class on listening to your heart she was the first to question how does it work to listen to your mind and your heart? She started working on her English skills early in high school knowing what she wanted. When she told others of her dream to go to America they squashed them, and said it was impossible. She is now a believer. She will not give up on her dream, her heart has been telling her for 4 years this is what she wants and she will now speak it and let it follow. Last night when I talked about being a creator or a victim she got it. She stated boldly; “I am the creator of my future, I know who I am, I am Grace, and I am an international nurse.” Her heart speaks to mine.
Andrea is a freshman. She is quiet, strong, yet gentle. Every Friday I teach coaching all day 9-11 and 1-5. The students are to choose one hour to attend. She attends the whole day. When I asked her why she stays, she said there are no classes for her on Friday; she needs to improve her English and wants to stay to learn all she can. She never lets me erase the board, gives up her chair to others when the class is full, and shares her belief boldly and openly about God. When I sneeze she says “God bless you.” The project she is working on is Reading to Children. She said she wants to read the Bible to them and share the life of Christ. When she left class yesterday she said “God bless you and your husband and children for allowing you to come into my life and teach me to be a better person.”
Lara, is another nursing student. She has taken on things since I got here that scared her to death. She speaks good English. I told the students to take every chance they get to translate for foreigners so they can get the experience. Recently there was a psychology convention on campus and she translated for it with great trepidation. After her experience she felt so much power and confidence for pushing through the fear. She is a sweet, soft spoken, power ball. It really brings me great joy to see them bull-doze through their fears.
Leo is in the men’s academy. He is a freshman and so willing to learn and improve himself and his English. I have been very impressed with his English. He said in primary school he thought it was for fun, then in high school he realized the importance of knowing English and studied harder. Every class he comes to he asks if he can come to another one of my classes and he wants to know how to be more professional. He is not afraid to speak his English and make a mistake. This shows great courage in my mind because most of the students are afraid to speak because they do not feel confident in their English skills.
The passion in their eyes when I teach is what brings me back each time. They sparkle and twinkle, smile with attentiveness and want more. When I have finished my teaching materials 15 minutes early I tell them class is over, they can now leave. They sit and stare at me. I ask if they understood me and they say “yes but we don’t want to leave.” This is why I am here, to love, to teach and to feel and experience their passion for learning.