A Story Of A Sixth Grade And His Teacher

This is a story of a sixth grader in Vietnam during the war time. This sixth grader found it difficult to pay for his education. Once his mom didn’t have money to pay the monthly tuition for school, and the school personnel refused to allow him in class. He had to copy the class work from his class mates.

Sometimes, people saw him wearing wet clothes to school in a rainy day because he had only one uniform which had been mended by his mom with a couple of pieces of unmatched cloth. One day, he was angry at everybody because he thought he was an unlucky child compared to others. Then he got into trouble for fighting in school. The teacher spanked him very hard for punishment. The sixth grader cried!

One week later, his teacher was hospitalized because of a heart attack. The sixth grader stole fruit like oranges, tangerines, and bananas from the neighbors’ trees. He put them in a basket then he rode his bike to the hospital with a full basket of stolen fruit for his teacher. The teacher hugged him and cried on his shoulder. The sixth grader said, “I am sorry to make you cry! Teacher”
In 1981, that sixth grader moved to the United States of America. He is now working at Franklin High School in Stockton, California. I know because I am that sixth grader.

In 1998, I went back to Vietnam and visited my sixth grade teacher. She was blind. She gave me a basket of fruit with oranges, tangerines, and bananas. I hugged her and my tears dropped on her shoulder. She whispered in my ear, “It is now your turn to cry, life is a circle”.

In 2000, I went back to Vietnam to visit my teacher again. Unfortunately, she had passed away. I went to cemetery with a basket of fruit with oranges, tangerines, and bananas. I silently said to my teacher, “I used to give you a basket of stolen fruit, you enjoyed them. I now buy these fruit with my own money, but you no longer live to receive them. Teacher, in this story I brought you to tears only one time but you brought me to tears three times. You made fell pain, sentiment and grief. Teacher, you now rest in peace and I will love you until I die!”