Chinese Valentine's Day
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1 Comments Chinese Valentine's Day - 2009-08-26 17:05:49

(this is on auto-post; a special post about/ for my student T)

Today is Qixi Festival (七夕), and also known as Valentine's Day here in Taiwan (and in China too, I guess). It's about a beautiful love story of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl, a story made up and told by the folks since ancient China. It's really not a good idea to have Valentine's Day twice (on February 14 and on lunar month July 7th too every year), I think. No, I am not a person with "sour grapes" mind. I never am that kind of person, but I just feel it's already too "commercialise" nowadays. Also, I think of my student T; I feel for T whenever I read all the poems, stories and articles he wrote.

T just graduated from my school this summer, and will enter the best senior high school (only 0.5% of students islandwide are allowed after an extreme competition in the entrance exam). During years of my teaching career, I've met many outstanding students, but T is the most extraordinary one. He is super intelligent, and sometimes I wonder how come he has known so much for his age, and how many books he has read since little. He is talented in science and math; he has profound knoweldge about Chinese literature and writes good articles. He is articulate, good at expressing his ideas and thoughts with organized and precise words. He is a a good dancer and singer too and won some prizes in those contests. Despite his intelligence, he always paid the best attention in my class and never hesitated to ask questions. And he was the only person who used to say, "Thank you so much for helping us, Ms. Lee" when finishing our extra classes on Sunday. Perhaps I should describe him as a multi-intelligent and well-rounded student except one thing- one thing I always know but hardly could I help him. He suffered too much from the love he gave.

He loved a girl and "coincidentally" the girl was in my class too. Actually, not coincidentally. Three years ago, T's mom took him to visit me in the office, expressing T's strong wish to enter our school so that he could join my class, and then for sure he became my student that day. After a few days, T's mom told me his strong motivation of joining my class was all from a girl that he had loved for 3 years. (what? 3 years meant that he started liking the girl when he was in elementary school. Wasn't he too young then?) But did the girl know T's affection for her over the years? Yes, she did. On every special day (birthday, Xmas day, New year's day, Chinese new year day, Valentine's day x 2 times, and even on T's own b-day...whatever he named it a special day), T wrote poems for her and prepared gifts for her.

Was the girl ever touched by him? No, never. The girl, C, told me 3 years ago that she really felt "uncomfortable" about everything he did for her. Besides, she thought they were too young for love. (I must agree it's true.) The only thing in her mind was study hard and enter an ideal senior high.

But this shiny boy never gave up his love. He never did anything to bother C, but when I was giving a lecture in class, I could tell how much he cared for her. Gradually, every student in my class knew. And every student in the whole school knew about it. But T didn't care no matter how other students laughed at him. He thought it wasn't a shameless thing to admire and love a pretty and nice girl. He studied harder and did best in various kinds of school contests (for her? I am not sure). But the more outstanding he became, the farther she got backward. C told me that T's behavior made her embarrassed. C asked me, "Don't you think he likes to show off?"

3 years have gone...

Honestly, I felt "relieved" on their graduation day because nothing inappropriate ever happened from T or between the two parties during the 3 years. (The parents from both parties wanted me to be careful about this issue) Nothing was inappropriate except that at the graduation ceremony, T held up the microphone saying, "C, I will miss you. And may I have the honor to keep liking you?" Everybody was shocked and some saw him as a big joke. C told me afterwards she was so embarrassed that she wished she had dug a hole on the ground and hidden her head in there. This 15-year-old boy declared his admiration for C in public, while other students expressed their sadness of leaving the school or worries about the coming entrance exam or their wishes for a bright future.

So they graduated. I felt happy that both T and C did very well on the entrance exam in May, and they are going to different senior high schools in September.

Last week, C came back to school to visit me. She brought me a thanks card with touching words, and most importantly, she carried a heavy package of stuff- she showed me all the words T had written for her in the past 6 years. Oh, my goodness...piles of poems, short stories and novels. I read them and found all his love had became tons of literature works. I wondered how come he had time to write that much as kids here really have very heavy schoolwork to do. And I wondered if anyone majoring in Chinese literature could ever write better than his beautiful words. I once considered myself quite confident in Chinese literature, but when I read each line and word he wrote, I started to realize how shallow I was. How come a 15-year-old boy had so much abundent love and deep thoughts? He is a genius in literature! (though I predict this boy might choose science as a major in college)

"So what did your parents say about it? (C's mom is a school teacher too, and her dad a businessman). "My dad said T has guts. Marry him when you grow up, my dad said. My mom just smiled but she agreed that T is an outstanding boy with bright future."

"So...are you touched by him yet? Do you consider being his girlfriend someday when you "grow up"? "NO! He's not my type." C answered.

I looked at this lovely girl for a few seconds and started weeping. "If you like his words, then you can keep the stuff." So C left a package of "literature works" in my office, adding she would visit me soon.

These days I was reading them again, and then I came to know how much this boy had suffered from the love; his love and pain were all in his words, though he always appeared so shiny with his smiling face and witty humorous words in class. I know he is too young for love, and some might even say, "there are plenty of fish in the sea", but I know his heart. I know whenever he looks up at the sky, even at stormy dark night, he could always see the brightest one shining among millions of the stars. He never cares about how many fish there are in the sea because he knows his love, though young, is completely pure and true.

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