March 2023

The Importance of Rekindling Old Friendships

In grade 9, my parents transferred me to a faith-based American international school. Having spent most of my elementary and middle school years in Chinese public schools, I was nervous and felt out of place at this new school where all courses were taught in English and the entire school staff were Christians. In grade 10 as everyone loaded themselves with AP courses, I picked a course I thought I would mostly likely succeed: AP World History. I chose a history course because I wanted to find answers to the past that I was never given clarity about in history classes at Chinese schools. I craved a non-censored education in history.

And it was in AP World History class that I met Ms. B. She was a new teacher that landed a teaching position at my school, and as soon as she joined the school, she was assigned the heavy duty to teach AP World History to grade 10 students.

My first impression of Ms. B was wonderful. She was a jolly, charismatic, confident lady that had a radiant smile and magnetic laugh. She had a singer's voice that could wake up the entire classroom with a very curt command. She was the sunflower in a picnic flower bouquet, the one that stood out the most and set the well-wishing tone for the entire flower cluster.

Ms. Brown loved one thing the most in her life: Jesus. No class would start without a prayer.

"Who would like to volunteer to pray?" was a standard procedure. Most students would shrink back, closing their eyes showing the instructor and others that they have decided to be the "blessed" rather than the "one calling for a blessing. And except on rare occasions where the likely devout, brave souls shout out "I can," Ms Brown would begin praying for the class with "Dear heavenly father" to start our lesson of learning about all the wonders of the world in the past thousand years.

Except that wasn't what we did. To be entirely frank, I don't recall a thing from my AP World History class. Ms. B was all I remembered and the adventures I took with her and classmates to Singapore and Egypt for Model United Nations (MUN) conferences were some of the other solid memories I had with her. Besides, she was also our volleyball coach, but whether she coached the varsity team or the JV team I could not exactly recall. But I loved her as a person -- I wished I had as much conviction in myself as she did in herself; I wanted to be brave and try new things as she did in a new continent, new country, new job.

But one thing I struggled to understand about her, was her faith. Her steadfast love for Jesus. Her conviction in the Bible. Her trust in god with a capital G.

Grand Canyon & Utah

Rugged mountains and riverbeds.

6/30/20212 min read