Stories of Kindness from Around the World

March To Your Own Drummer


--by cabbage, posted Jan 21, 2009

A few days ago I was about to begin teaching a class when one of my students came up to me and said she had to talk to me---she seemed quite upset and close to tears so I took her out in the hallway to find out what was wrong.  She started sobbing uncontrollably and told me that she'd been feeling so stressed out and depressed because her mom was pressuring her to go to medical school and she didn't want to--- she felt like she'd be letting her mom down if she went against her wishes and she felt very helpless.

I asked her what she wanted to do and she said she wanted to work in the biotechnology industry.  I told her that she would be really good at that (since I have her for a lab class, I know that she's really good)  and that she should try to get a job in a biotech lab and show her mom that she could earn her own living doing that.  I told her that she's really bright and talented and would do very well in that career and that I would be happy to talk with her more about her career path. I also told her that med school is a big committment and that she should not do it because of her mom's wishes.  I told her that I understood how hard it was on her and that I was sure she would find her own path--after all it is her life. 

I even asked her if she wanted me to talk to her mom.  After lots of hugs and reassurances from me that she didn't have to go to med school if she didn't want to....  Just having someone listen and encourage her was enough.

She returned to class with a new attitude.  It was as if I saw a big weight being lifted from her shoulders and she was ready to begin anew.

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Readers Comments

Tiffany Heiny wrote: I must say, you are a lot like teachers i love at my school! It is people like you who make me want to be a teacher and give back to what i have been given by my teachers. I am so happy to hear what you told her, because as a teen girl being pressured into a similar situation, it is good to know that there are people like you out there to help us. I have huge trust issues because of where i come from and to hear that there are teachers other than just where i go to school like that is awesome. So, keep talking to your students like that. Tell them to reach the stars even if it takes a million ladders and a few mess up to get there! In the end all that will matter is what they wanted, not what their parents wanted. So once again, i do not know you, but thank you!
Erika wrote: That's beautiful! It's amazing what a sympathetic ear and a few good hugs can do for a troubled soul. Thank you so much for sharing, cabbage!
nila wrote: "To thine own self be true"
We all just have to march to our own drummer......
and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to do that. "

Really wise words.
JuneBug wrote: Awww! You are very wise and the student sure is very blessed to have a teacher like you.....:]
wayfarer wrote: Yay for you! It's a real honour when someone trusts you enought to bring problems like this to you!
lovebug wrote: You are really a good teacher, I could wish I had a teacher like you, but I did not. However I did survive. Just think on this. Could I be writing this comment to your wonderful story if I was not a survivor? All who survive live to write, sometimes these short comments turn into books, if you can write a book. Well, you really do have money to spend. Me, I don't even write short stories well yet. But I am taking a creative writing class. Who knows maybe in the future I will have real money, but for right now I feel wealthy, so I Am rich.PEACE

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