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Portfolio 5

My first semester went well. All my grades were not bad at all, even though I was discouraged about my studies sometimes. In our class, there was a classmate from Taiwan who was 56 years old studying with us. She is called ‘Sally’ (pseudonym). I did not know much about Sally until one day I had to interview her for an assignment and learned that she was struggling so hard with her studies. Sally was originally from Taiwan, but she has lived in New Zealand for about 15 years. Because of her old age, 56 she couldn’t see well. This certainly affected her studies because she could not read and write well with the bad eyesight. Worse than that, she had to take care of her 80- year-old mother. Once she asked me and Lily to explain about an assignment which was already due. After we finished class at 6 pm. one day, Sally took us to a Chinese restaurant, and we spent time eating and explaining to her about the assignment. She said she would have to spend the whole night doing this assignment as she planned to hand it in the following day. Poor Sally, Lily and I spent almost two weeks for this assignment, but Sally with the bad eyesight and poor health would do it in only one night. I also lent her a book that I bought for almost 100 NZ dollars for this assignment. After Lily and I came back that night, I was thinking of Sally most of the time and admired her effort to study. “There is still someone who is in a worse condition than me,’’ I thought. I thanked God that He allowed me to get to know Sally and learned how much she was struggling with her personal life, poor health and studies so that I could appreciate who I was and the circumstances I had encountered. I learned that Sally failed some assignments, and she could not continue her studies in semester 2. I did not know the exact reason, but we didn’t see her in semester 2 last year. She has not returned my book yet, and this has been more than a year now since she borrowed it. Probably my 100-NZ dollar book was gone, but this was not a waste at all because it was worth even more to get to know about Sally, and how she had coped with life as an immigrant in New Zealand…no relatives…nobody else…only an 80-year-old mother to look after. I have not heard anything about Sally since she dropped her studies last year. I don’t know how to contact her. I just hope and pray that everything will be fine with her and her mother.