[Note: In this sketch I’m the little girl of 5 standing with my uncle who brought me to enroll for primary school. He allegedly picked the wrong school and I ended up getting enrolled in a school where English is the medium of instruction instead of Chinese. Nothing is a mistake, I believe! 3 banners at the top highlight the 3 things I want to introduce to my readers. They are explained in the text below.]
#DigiWriMo is here! And I’m ready with my introduction, finally.
And yet. All those invited will express themselves in English, even though at least six of them don’t have English as their first language. If you would rather write in another language, you are welcome to do so.
Well, Maha, I might write in Chinese later but for this post, I sought to describe the hybridizing, multicultural aspects of my life.
I chose 3 Chinese characters to introduce myself.
The first character is 友 (pronounced “you”) which means friend. I count myself insuperably blessed to have several Enduring Friendships (in the first banner on the image). I have 3 especially close childhood friends; we have known each other since we were 6 years old. In the oracle bones of ancient Chinese writings, 友 is symbolized by two pairs of hands clasping to show friendship (友谊, “youyi” is friendship). [The Chinese character has evolved to the modern version we see today where one hand is above the other.] When I’m troubled, and in need of urgent help, I have an inner circle of trusted friends who I can call on the quick dial and I know they will come to my aid without vacillating.
The second character is 教 (pronounced “jiao”) which means teach. I have been a teacher for slightly more than 20 years. It is the most rewarding job I have done and hope to continue doing as long as I can. My ex-students inspire me daily. C. S. Lewis wrote that “What is not eternal is eternally out of date.” My students remind me that the impact of teaching is eternal. Just a week ago, two ex-students came to my house after work to help me move my home furniture to the right rooms. Selflessness. Gratitude. For Limitless Teaching.
The character supposedly indicates a boy hard at work, accompanied by an individual holding a cane. Tough love it was/is then. Fret not, corporal punishment is not my style.
The final character I picked is 学 (pronounced “xue”) which means learn. I’m a Perpetual Learner. I love learning, studying, and researching, to the point of not sleeping at times unless I solve a mystery or a learning puzzle first. In the Chinese pictograph, you can see that 学 (see image below) is indicated by a pair of hands trying to make or build something. Maybe a net or a house, as some scholars suggested (Gasp! Connected learning?!). Over the years, the pictograph has evolved to include the symbol of a person under the pair of learning hands.
Enduring Friendships, Limitless Teaching, Perpetual Learner. My #SixWordStory.
Image source for “teach” and “learn” – http://www.chinanews.com/cul/2014/12-23/6902289.shtml