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That Five Dollars Touches My Heart

 
I have a 7 years old student, who learns Chinese from me. His name is Foti. I knew him two years ago when he was 5. The first time I met him, he wanted to learn Chinese from me. Neither his mom nor I paid much attention. But I taught him about ten Chinese words. Later, his mom found a few Chinese teachers for him but each time after one lesson, he quit. Then one day I met him again. His mom asked me if I can teach him. He was on the side and said to me, “yes, I want to learn from you because I like you!” He was so cute so I started to tease him. I said, “I can teach you if you can remember what I taught you two years ago. “ His mom and I then burst out laughter for nobody would remember the words somebody just said one time two years ago. To our surprise, he told me the ten words with a standard Chinese tongue.

I started to teach him last summer. He is so smart and remembers everything I teach him. I always love my students and treat everyone so nicely. For some unknown reasons, I love this little boy more because I feel we have some special connections. I give him double work than my adults’ students. He never complains and just finishes showing me how well he can do. After some lessons, he always plays a trick in Chinese to me. For example, when I tested him how to say “good morning”, he would say” Wan Shang Hao (that means good night)” to me. Before I laughing, he already laughed so hard. Sometimes he would ask me what “Wo Bu Zhi Dao (Meaning: I don’t know)” means. I told him it means “I don’t know.” Then he laughed so hard again and couldn’t stop. Then he would say to me,” you are the best teacher, but even you don’t know, then who else would know!” The time to be with him is always so joyful.

Last week, when it’s getting dark early, we changed the evening teach schedule to next day morning. We already explain to him about the schedule changing. When yesterday I didn’t show up in their house, he got so worried about me. Then his mom explained to him again why we adjusted the schedule. But he didn’t believe. He worries something about me or my job. This morning when I came for his lesson, he heard his mom talking to me about a new teaching position. Then he disappeared. Usually during the one hour lesson, he always stayed with me and never do anything else or left. So I called him back to study but didn’t know where he was. A few minutes later, he came out from his bed room with a walnut in his hand. He handed me a Five Dollar bill, then put his little arms surrounding me. Then he said, “I worry if you would not come anymore. I love you. I always remember every single word you teach me. I really want to see you twice a week. Please don’t leave me!” I gave back his money and couldn’t say a word. Only tears roll down my cheeks quietly. ..