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Part of the Short Stories Series.

The Teacher -- 10/24/08

She was born in Southern China as were her other family members. Near the end of the China Civil War the family first emigrated to Hong Kong and later to America. The father as a entrepreneur started his own Asian restaurant on the south side of a large midwestern city. He built up a loyal customer base because of the family's fine food and service.

The young girl was very friendly and outgoing. When she first arrived in America she didn't speak English, but within a year she overcame that barrier. In her elementary school she was known to always have a smile on her face and cheerful words of encouragement for others.

She worked in the family restaurant, performing every duty as needed. Her cheerful personality stood out as she warmly greeted customers waiting to be seated inside or for the take-out orders arriving in a steady stream at night and weekends.

She was a shy girl in her youth and as she became a woman she parlayed her patient gifts into the pursuit of higher education. She became a teacher and helped thousands of students over the years. Her students always knew she would be there for them. Even as adults, former students would recognize her in public and stop to say, "thank you" to her for teaching them.

The teacher has traveled the world and has many stories to tell to her friends. She stays in-touch with her friends, especially enjoying encounters with those she knew in her youth. She is a testament of the American dream with the warm heart of a loving human being.


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