Jakson has been here for the last 7 years. He is originally from Brazil, and came to New Zealand for a brighter future. He did not know much English when he first came, so I assume he took whatever job he could in order to survive, and to help pay for his sister's university fees back in Brazil. He knew that the only way to improve his career was to master the language, so he took several short English courses along the way as he could not afford to go to school full time. After 7 years of hard work, he decided it was time to improve his skills so he quit his job and enrolled for the programme. He strongly believes that there is time for everything, you just have to be patient and you will get there eventually, one step at a time. He thank god for the opportunity for tertiary education as it never crossed his mind before, probably due to his hardship. He knows everyone in the school as he loves communicating. He was the first person who thanked me for teaching him and that made me smile the whole day ;)
Ricky was born in HK, but grew up in New Zealand. He went back to HK after his primary years, if I am not mistaken. He came back earlier this year to pursue his tertiary education as he is an NZ citizen. He says his English is rather rusty as he did not use much while he was back in HK as he was working in a restaurant - waiting tables, I assumed. Like most Chinese, he is very competitive. He strives to be the best and he worries too much about how he is performing in school. Yesterday for example, he asked me whether he has failed his first assignment after I commented on his group's presentation. I tried to comfort him but deep inside what I felt was auwwwww he he. He's just too cute to worry about something like that in the first semester!
Bhavan is the only girl who says hi to me in the morning. Other girls are still pretty shy to even greet me, let alone ask questions in class. She too, came to NZ 3 years ago to pursue her tertiary education. She studied for a while and left school after a year as she was unsure about what she really wanted to do. She told me it was very difficult to find a good job and ended up working in a supermarket for a whole year before deciding to come back to school and finished her diploma.
I don't know much about Jagdeep and Fernando, all I can say is that they are good students. They are both confident and aren't afraid to speak up. As for the others, I hope to find a way to connect to them too.
I have a new profound respect for them. They are motivated, they take time to really ponder about what they want in life, and they do it with a smile.
For me, there are tons to learn in this new field. I worry lots. I worry about them not getting it, I worry about going too slow or too fast, I worry when I go blank while presenting. Ha ha. I hope I can learn as much from them as they can from me. I thank god for this opportunity - an opportunity to see if I can really make it in this field, an opportunity to see if this is what I am looking for all these while.