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[ Vietnamese Women's day] She - who gave me all the best

Post by: trangtrang | 25/10/2014 | 3440 reads

I still remember that day when we privately met and she asked me about the subject I wanted to specialize in. I still remember the way she comforted me and told me to persuade Mom, and her smile when she said: “How about I sign you up for Mrs. Thủy’s advanced Literature class?” I have always remembered her, each and every of her words, her smile. Because she was the one who helped me fulfill my dream of becoming specialized in Literature. Because she stood by me as if she were my second mother. She is Mrs. Nguyễn Thanh Bình – my form teacher in grade 8 and 9.

Mrs. Nguyễn Thanh Bình. Photo: Facebook

Talking about her, I could only remember two words, “joy” and “tear”. Joy came from the moments she and our class were together, from stories, from the times we buffoon or pulled her leg. Joy came from 8th March, from warm jamborees, from the lessons about we shared. Joy came from her, and also from us.

Mrs. Bình and her International Women’s Day gift – 8/3/2013. Photo: Facebook

However, it was also because of us, “the Aborigines”(a lovely name she called us), that she shed her tears. That was when we violated the rules too many times, when the boys told intolerable jokes, or when one of us was overly cheeky to her. But she still loved her students  so much that she wouldn’t do anything that made them unfavourable. She was so brave and strong, overcoming everything, leading us through such a long journey; then when we were all successful, she just stood there, proudly watching us from afar. But those are not the only tears I remember. The tears were also mine, coming from the countless times I cried during that 9th school year. Everything in grade 9, I thought, was not only difficult to me, but to everyone. Those were pressure, expectations of my family, teachers and friends. Those were the silly mixed feelings of a 14-year-old girl in a stir and a jumble that could not be shared with anyone else. Those were failures, difficulties, and intricacies that could not be solved. There were struggles, and choices that would change a whole life. There were a billion different things that at the same time loaded me down. But she was there and dried all those tears, not only providing me with knowledge, but also giving me courage to stand up after the fall, and faith to pursue my Literature dream. She gifted me fairy-tale secondary years with such a perfect ending. She was a friend who listened to me, and a mother who gave me precious pieces of advice. The 9th school year helped me get to know her better, understand laughter and tears, thoughtful words and also the “thanklessness” she had mentioned when talking about Literature. But above all, she gave me the best of life – a family. It was the place where friends were siblings and she was the mother; where I could be myself, no hiding, no affectation, no need to struggle with pressure; where I laughed with happiness and cried a whole period, where I found myself important and helpful. A family, most of which were “hog wild”, naughty and sometimes thoughtless boys, converted by her love and ordinary acts. By weekly meetings full of laughter and the fun we had together. By humane lectures, and strangely interesting stories she told us when we surrounded her desk at break time. And also by the times she told us off. As after every dragging eloquent speech came her smiles, such beautiful smiles. She accepted us as we were, never constrained or forced us to do anything; just showed us the right way. If it had not been for her, our class 9D then would not have been united, would not have passed exams with flying colors despite having been so naughty.

Mrs. Bình and her class in a school trip. Photo: Facebook

Though now in grade 10, I still feel as if Ams is a small community, consisting only of 200 people at my age; still used to the feeling of coming first at something, of everything so lovely and familiar; used to seeing her every week as our form teacher and seeing her in the hallway. Ams is unchanged, but now it feels so huge, and I feel so small. Sometimes I make my way back to the old class, sit at my old desk – the second one near the front door - close my eyes and recall the memories. I remember every window filled with broken chalk, remember twenty four crank desks, remember the silent class photo on the wall, the clock tik tok above our head, the poster “33 boys + 14 girls + 3 abroad + 1 Boss = 9D”, the window with paper cranes,  and also the hot air balloon wall…

9D 10-14’s poster. Photo: Facebook

I miss her, miss her stance on the dais, her smile, her words; miss how she brought with her that atmosphere, the atmosphere that brought the class together. To me, Ams is home, 9D is family, and Mrs. Bình was the one who created that family. Whether I am a ninth-grader, a tenth-grader, or already grown up and has gone places, she would still be the safe haven; 9D would always be the love that unconsciously I long for when life gets hard. Sometimes I still come back to her, just to hear her voice, see her smile. Just need a little bit of how she helped me stand up from the hardships in grade 9. Then suddenly I realize how little I have hugged her, or told her I love her; realize I have helped her with such small things, while she has given me such great gifts. I want to hear her say “Thank you, Trang” like when we went on a school trip so that I wouldn’t feel too useless, want to listen to her advice “Don’t cry” because these days I cry a lot. I remember when she made me feel like the most helpful person in the whole world. Remember the letters of apology, even via email, between us. And then feel so grateful to her, infinitely grateful to her, for everything she has done to me, in those two short years.

I have written a lot about her. But the feelings somehow haven’t subsided. Perhaps to me, she has been too great, too huge. And I have loved her too much…

Mrs. Bình and class 9D in their purple uniform on Photoday – 23rd April 2014. Photo:FB

On the occasion of 10/20, I wish you a happy Vietnamese Women’s Day from the bottom of my heart. Wish you youthfulness, beauty, and more and more of your dear students successful in life. 9D 1014 and I will always remember you, my respectable teacher.

Author:  Mai Trang L2 14-17

Translator: Phuong Ha A1 13-16


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