(In which there’s another cool kid in the tradition of Sandy.)
Being given another kid student is enough to threaten me after I witnessed the momentary Wonderful Academy invasion of repulsive and obnoxious male fifteen-year-olds acting like they’re eight. I swear I almost told the manager “No, not another kid!” But fate doesn’t seem to be a monster lately for I was given Jenny, a nine-year-old girl. Sorry boys, girls are generally easier to handle.
The first thing I noticed about this girl (just like about every other female students I had in my class) is her notebook. I have always found the covers of Korean notebooks cute. But more often than not, I need to disregard the cheesy/incoherent lines that usually don’t have anything to do with the cover image.
We started having classes last Friday and two days after, she gave me a gift.
How did she know I am terribly in need of a new notebook? In fact, I have already been writing on margins! Oh! Kudos to her guardian angel!
I have just established my stance on the messages but I gave this one a go. The sentences attempt to be nostalgic but still with the signature incoherence, albeit subtle.
"You are my sweet song and you are a honey melody, the girl who has many pink dreams. I have many dreams and hopes. I feel happiness."
Approximately thirty minutes after thanking her, we talked about the contests she joined, then her dreams.
“Teacher, my dream is to become a pediatrician!” she announced.
“Oh really? That’s nice!” I exclaimed. I’m used to hear children say they want to be a doctor so they could help sick people or help their parents. But I still asked her. “Why?”
She looked at the ceiling, ruminating. Her facial expression embodying her struggle for the perfect words. Then she began.
“I saw the video of Haiti. The . . . the . . .”
“Yes. The earthquake.” she agreed. My heart already melted.
“I saw the hurt children and my mom cried. And I cried, too. So I want to be a pediatrician. There are other kids. And other counties. So I asked my mom, ‘How can I be a doctor?’ and she said ‘Medical school is difficult. If you really want to be a doctor, you have to study hard from now on.’ So that’s what I’ll do. I will study English hard, hard, hard. Then study other things. Then go Harvard!”
I was breathless. I just looked at her typical East Asian face, the several scars and mosquito bites on her arms and the way she messes her bangs when she talks or coolly explains when I noticed her ear skin tag. I wonder how an innocent child could think of dreaming and striving with the inspiration of helping people. Such deep and mature thinking! Then I realized it’s only with a child’s innocence that we see with our heart and think genuinely positive.
“You’re an amazing kid,” I told her. She smiles shyly.