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An Angel With One Eye

Viewed 855 times 2019-12-9 15:48 |System category:News

  "It's time to touch up lipstick before going out," says Chen Xiaoting-陈晓婷 in Chinese-and pads over to the full-length mirror. Having done that, she starts brushing her long hair with her own hands. Clad in a white skirt, a blue plaid shirt, and sneakers, the jovial Chen Xiaoting could easily be confused for a college girl. In fact, she's a teacher teaching history in the elementary school.  Some people might say that would be a sought-after job for a young Chinese girl. For 陈晓婷 that's a different story because she only has one eye.

  When she was nine years old,  Chen had to remove her right eye owing to  tumors. " I was living with my grandma and grandpa in a small village, where u could hardly find higher caliber doctors.  And I was taken to a local clinic instead after my grandma discovered that there was something wrong with my right eye.  I was too little to realize what was going on," she remembers thinking.

  Her parents took her to a well-pointed hospital located in the city after she passed out one day. And the doctor told the parents that tumors had already spread to her right eye. She was in a critical condition, so much so that her right eye had to be removed before  it reached other parts of her body. Told that their lovely daughter had to go through this horrible experience, her parents were devastated. And it was purgatory for a little girl, who ended up having only one eye left ; the other's an empty eye socket in the words of Chen Xiaoting.

  For other timid souls, it means the end of their life. Not for Chen Xiaoting. Unbowed, she chose to study hard in school in the teeth of all kinds of seemingly insuperable challenges arising from her illness. To prove her mettle, she even joined  assorted school activities, using that to her show people that she's no different from other girls. To her chargin, she still found that her physical shortcomings had attracted opprobrium; some boys would jeer at her by calling her single-eyed monster. Chen, who had already become a courageous  girl,  simply disregarded such quips and kept being a Pollyanna. Such efforts paid off later on: she became a teacher after graduation

   On a sunny day, Chen headed out to meet one of her  female students, with whom she had developed a rapport when she was still living in a village as a teacher. She had spent two years teaching there-including English before returning to the city.  The student she was going to meet was facing hardship, so Chen had come to her school to find out what's troubling the student.  Walking across the campus, Chen found her student waiting for her. Stoked, she quickened her step, hugged her student and giggled just like a little girl. " I'm worried about you, so I'm coming to see you. Just tell me what has gone wrong, "said Chen with a questioning look. 

" It occurs to me that I find  waves of  childhood memorizes flashing back and forth  every time when I talk to her. I mean she reminds me of my own childhood. Thus, I want to help her out, Chen told CCTV when asked why would she travel all the way to this school located far from the city.

  " I think our life is a process of learning to face down fear and  appreciate yourself, notwithstanding  physical shortcomings. That's the key to enjoying your life,  " she said, her voice trilling with excitement. 

  It could have been a tragedy for craven sorts. But Chen Xiaoting refused to be intimidated, deciding to beat the odds and even use  her own story to tell other physically challenged people to be strong on a Chinese website called Zhihu, which is a place where people ask and answer questions. Plus, she's also a well-meaning teacher who truly cares about her students. For them she's an angel.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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