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The First Class After the Earthquake

Popularity 1Viewed 903 times 2015-12-25 14:42 |Personal category:Inspiring stories|System category:Others| unusual, class

With so many people’s help some of the children in Beichuan were able to go back to school again on May 20th after the terrible earthquake, which measured 8.0 on the Richter scale on May 12th in Wenchuan Sichuan province. It is the first class given by a teacher, a psychologist. She gave everyone of the class a piece of paper and asked them to play a game.

“Tear a small piece from the paper in your hands if you think you’d lost something important in this earthquake,” the teacher said to the students. Soon all the students did as the teacher asked. Some of them had torn two small pieces, some three, some even five….

“Why did you tear two pieces of it?” the teacher asked one of students.

   The little boy said, “This one is my dad. He died in the earthquake. I really miss him. My dad used to take me to school and took me home after school, but now he is gone. I will never see him and talk to him again. When I think about this, I am so sad.”

   After a short silence, the boy’s words remind other students of their sad experience in this disaster. A little while, the teacher continued to ask another question, “What about the other piece you’ve torn?”

“It is my mom. She also died. I still remember the scene that she cooked breakfast for me that morning. She was very kind and loved me so much. She always cooked what I like to eat. She was patient enough to bear it and never complained although I am so naughty and often do something wrong. She liked telling me good stories. Now I can not hear her voice any more,” with tears in his eyes he said.

   All the students cried together in the class. They’ll never forget it is the earthquake that took their family and relatives away and destroyed their homes.

   The teacher asked other students the same questions, who also have the same miserable stories. It is one of the ways to give a chance to the students to let the sad mood out.

   Then, the teacher asked the students to make a paper plane with the misshapen piece of paper. Quickly and carefully, the students made their best paper planes. The teacher told them, “Everyone is sad here because you have lost your family, or your relatives, or your friends, or your homes. We, including people all over the country, are very sorrowful for you at this moment, too. We have the same feeling because we are family. Now the planes in your hands are misshapen and it’s like your life losing something important. Let’s go outside the classroom and let our planes fly. We also can fly if we still have a dream.”

   At the end of the class everyone threw his (her) plane into the sky as high as they could.

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


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Reply Report HenLaoLaoShi 2016-1-4 22:11
I was a tourist in Chengdu on the day in 2008 when this earthquake hit.  Because of my medical training I was in Beichuan 2 days later.  There were still bodies littering the city center and hundreds of soldiers were removing the rubble from the Beichuan middle school one piece at a time looking for survivors among the 1300 students and teachers buried there.  The day I was there, only 6 survivors had been rescued.  Later, we spent time with residents of what used to be small villages near Beichuan. In one village, Yellow Sheep Village, the one thing the children wanted to do was go back to school and a small small school was set up under tents in a nearby refugee camp.  Teachers from other areas came up to teach classes.
Reply Report samlam 2016-1-5 07:33
Thank you for "filling the blanks" for that special and unforgettable Time of Wenchuan earthquake.

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