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追求快樂 The Pursuit of Happiness

Mandy Liu, 今天翻照片,這篇文章不小心跳出來。這是我5年前,你出發去Cambodia當義工老師前我寫的一篇文章吧。原來我們已經認識5年多了呀,而且那時候,你就是我的偶像了耶。哈哈。。。 好好,再讀一次。

追(zhuī) 求(qiú): pursue, pursuit 快(kuài) 樂(lè): happy,happiness Mandy Liu, a happy mandarin teacher, also one of my good friends in Hsinchu. 5 years ago, Mandy forgo her promising career as a principal engineer with company TSMC, the most renowned High-Tech company in Taiwan and begun her new journey for mandarin teaching from scratch. After 3.5 years of study with National Taiwan Normal University for her Master’s Degree, Mandy became a mandarin teacher with National Chiao Tung University and Rotary International. Many people didn’t understand her choice, but Mandy was determined to do something she is really passionate about, even though she may suffer a great income loss. I met Mandy in a Chinese classic reading club organized by her and her husband in my neighborhood. Later on, I realized that they actually devote 3 hours per week to help children and adults learn Chinese classic like, Confucian Analects, Three Character Classic etc… one of the reading clubs for adults has been sustained for 10 years! Frankly speaking, I cannot believe it, all these teaching throughout these years are totally free! And she keeps on doing it with great satisfaction and happiness. Mandy is a cheerful and friendly person. Since then we have become friends and meet up frequently. I enjoy the time spent with her very much. We exchange teaching experience, tell interesting stories that happened in class, discuss pros and cons of Chinese textbooks, and also share our philosophy towards life. Different from 1 on 1 private tutoring, learners tend to be more self-motivated and also easier to teach. Mandy’s lessons are usually classroom based. Thus, she needs to come up with more innovative ways to tackle learning diversities and motivate students. Although some days can be exciting, some days can be a bit frustrating; I can tell that the students’ improvements and appreciation can really make her day. Recently, Mandy tells me that there is an eager learner in her class but she may not able to dig out his potential due to the limitation of group tutoring, thus, she suggests a language exchange with him so that she can figure out how to better help this student. In fact, as I know, there is no urgent need for Mandy to learn a language from that student. There is nothing wrong of pursuing material comforts, but there is always something beyond materialism which brings us more joy and satisfaction. This is also the reason I see Mandy as a friend who strikes a sympathetic resonance in my heart and mind. Nowadays, education has become one of the most lucrative business, some of my students share with me that as English teachers they actually not really agree with some cram schools which put their own interests ahead of their students’ benefits. I think, same as other business, it is important to maximize revenues, but as providers of a unique service or product, we should always remind us, there are teachers like Mandy who really care about students and pursue something more than external rewards. This June, Mandy is leaving Taiwan to Cambodia for 1 year. She will help a charity organization to set up a Chinese school and also teach mandarin to the local children there. I am sure she will enrich herself through this journey as a mandarin teacher and also as a sincere and happy person. Good luck my friend, looking forward to our next chit chat when you are back!

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