Archive for May, 2009

Finding out

Well, I think I fathomed out how to post a new bit to my blog….think being the operative word. I’m including another extract from an old blog while I am still discovering how to use it. So here it is… how good it is to go back and read, and remind myself not to be so self indulgent.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Not our life but. ..

Today has been just an ordinary, boring Monday for me, well almost, until I watched the news…
Recently I gave up work due to ill health and in the blog, that I now have time to do each day, I am recording my sometimes wacky view of my world..
Today however, I wept, for myself… self pity they call it… sad that I have had to give up something that I have only just achieved in my life.. a degree and a career at fifty odd. But it was more than that to me, much more. I was an ESOL lecturer, which means I taught English to immigrants from other countries.
Then today I watched the news and I felt sad about what is happening in Iran and all those countries. Not that I am in any way political, far from it. What made me so sad was the memory of one student from Iraq.A boy of seventeen. I had a one to one during one lesson because no one else had turned up and after going through various written exercises I sensed that it might be good to do a ‘speaking and listening’ exercise with him.
I learned that he had ran away from his country with just a friend of the same age. He ended up in London and finally down to my area… I thought of my own lads at seventeen…
He had lost all his family apart from one married brother. He had no schooling because ‘It wasn’t safe to have so many children in one place’ yet he was sitting here in my class week after week, no matter what, desperate to learn English and unable to read and write in his own language. As he told me his story, I wept. I tried not to and apologised to him.
I will remember that lad to my dying day, and the positive attitude he had.
We talked about religion and he told me he was a Muslim because his father, grandfather and great grand father had been but .. and he drew a circle on the table. ‘This is god, whoever you see him as.’ He then went on to draw many lines all squigly and messed up, emanating from that circle…’These are Muslims, these Christians, those might be Catholics…’ he went on, ‘ but can you see where they all end up?’ he asked… ‘The same place. I want to learn and grow and what ever I believe in, I am a good person, no different to everyone else in any religion, I don’t understand why they fight.’And he was right.
Here was a young man who had been through so much, lost everything, and yet he just wanted to be the best he could be. Strong despite what life and religion had taught him and prepared to see a different view. How much could our children learn from lads such as him?
So I was sad today because of him. I may have made little difference in his life but I listened and I cared, maybe too much, but hell! I’m only human. I worked in the asylum centre too and the stories were similar.
I am going to miss my students so much, along with the lessons that they taught me every day. So, although I am sad for myself, their stories remind me that self pity is a worthless emotion, after all these young people are striving so hard to have a normal,decent life, even bereft of the wonderful memories that I preciously record day by day, their stories remind me that I have so much.Time to give myself a severe talking to methinks!

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