Today, two of my male students from my ESL class (the one I see 9.5 hours a week) got into a fight during the clean up portion of Art class. Because I was in the classroom helping with clean up, and the male students had gone into the bathroom beside the classroom to wash their brushes and painting trays, I wasn’t there for the start of it.
Apparently, the first student said something mean or took something from the second student. So the second student shook his wet hands (when he finished washing them) in the first student’s face (getting the first student’s face wet). The first student hit the second student, who then hit the first student back.
By the time this retaliated hit occurred, it was right as the boys were entering my classroom, so I intervened. Because I was stopping them from hitting each other, it turned into an all-out Chinese word battle of swearing and name-calling. Even with both the Chinese teacher and myself there trying to control the situation, it took us a bit to separate and calm the boys down since they continued to fight despite the separation. All this happened at the time the students were supposed to be dismissed, causing the other students to become agitated that they hadn’t been allowed to go home yet.
I really adore my kids, but it makes me so frustrated when they would rather match wrong with wrong instead of telling me and avoiding consequences for retaliating.
There’s good days and then there’s bad days when it comes to teaching children.
I know I don’t post on this account very much (since I post on my blog dedicated to living in Taiwan), but I just had to say this:
I am so extremely saddened by the world right now.
I check my tumblr dashboard at least once a day, and over the past months I have just seen horrible events followed by more tragic events followed by even more. Though I live in another country, I still read about the things that are happening in my home country and the ones near mine.
I just don’t understand why there is just so much bad in the world. I remember being 9 years old and none of this stuff ever crossed my mind or seemed possible. The stories of people being taken from their homes or their lives being hurt or taken seemed to happen maybe once every few years if that. Now, I see these things happening months apart, if not weeks, and sometimes even days.
The sad thing is that these types of events are happening not just in my home country and not just in the countries around it, but all over the world. They happen constantly and instead of the cries for change and desires to stop the monsters that are lurking, the darkness grows bigger and the pain becomes more frequent.
I’m generally an optimistic, but I have to say: Living on this side of the world makes me more scared to come home because it just seems like the world is losing it’s light and it’s better to stay indoors than to face the darkness outside.
What has happened to you world? What has happened to the hearts of people where compassion for others existed and love was our mission statement? What happened to us? What happened?
These past few days have been really strange for me. A girl from my hometown went missing while she was traveling in another country, and her body was recently found. I didn’t know her, and yet I am emotionally distraught. I feel as if it’s selfish of me to even have feelings about this because I didn’t know her personally, as if I’m trying to draw attention to myself. Yesterday when I read the news, I covered my mouth and started crying, and broke into prayer. I didn’t know what to say because I was so overwhelmed, so I just kept saying, “Oh God, may you bring her peace. May there be peace. She needs peace. Her family needs peace. Bring them peace,” over and over again.
I don’t deal with tragedy well, so I went to work and tried not to think of it. And yet, the whole night I was completely terrified of life around me. When I entered my own apartment elevator that night, I pressed the close button over a dozen times; And with my phone ready in one hand and keys in the other, I made the quickest dash to my apartment door when the elevator doors opened. Inside my apartment I locked the door and sat down on my couch and began crying again. I cried and I gasped for air, and crawled onto the floor trying to pray and not being able to think a single clear thought.
I didn’t know this girl personally, but other people did. She was a person, with a life and goals and a right to all those things. She, just like me, did not believe in being confined to her hometown and left to experience the world around her… and then someone harmed her. Someone took what was hers and what wasn’t theirs and I just.. I just can’t understand it. I just can’t comprehend this all. I am so frustrated and confused and I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why no one helped her, in a building filled with rooms that are filled with people. I don’t understand why there are people out there who attack people, and, worse, get away with it. It is just so sad and so frustrating and I am so angry that it makes me cry and yet the thousands of tears I can cry, or her friends and family can cry, will do nothing, and that frustrates me too. I am so tired of reading news articles and seeing more links at the bottom to stories about more women who have gone missing or whose bodies have turned up. It just goes beyond my comprehension that such things are possible and this world contains such people who are capable of these things.
I am in a foreign country, and have seen many of my friends travel alone abroad. And here it shows that we are not safe to travel - we are not safe to be alone. It is not fair that women seem to be targets, and that we should have to be constantly paranoid of people for our own safety. We want to be nice to everyone, and yet it just seems like being nice to someone could put you in danger. I just don’t get it and I don’t think I ever will.
I’m so frustrated and I am so sad for this girl and for her family and friends. We encourage people to travel and gain experience and enjoy what the world has to offer, and when we spread our wings, there are people out there who will try to ground us. I feel so vulnerable now and unsafe. I double lock my doors; I tell people where I’m going and when I’m going to be home and tell them to call me if I am not back when I say I will be; I constantly remember features of people around me, and I don’t engage in conversations with strangers. Life just seems so fragile lately, as if my life is a delicate glass vase that anyone could snatch or break at any moment. It just doesn’t feel safe for me to be so far away from home right now. Even though I know these kinds of things are terrible and can happen anywhere, I just feel like such an island right now, and am scared to be in a foreign country.
I honestly wish and pray for nothing but peace to her family and friends and especially her. Just the night before I read the news, I was reading in the book of Acts the story of the stoning of Stephen. I said to Allen, “I really like how as Stephen was about to die, it says, ‘He fell asleep.’ As if God made the transition for Stephen peaceful so he wouldn’t die a painful death. God put Stephen to sleep so that when Stephen died, he was already in peace.” I’d like to think that God did the same for this girl and anyone and everyone who was and is ever harmed by others to this extent. That God in His love would put us to sleep so that when we wake up, the bad dream is over and we are in heaven with the one who loves us. I just want God to bring peace to everyone right now.