3:44 p.m. on 11/30/13

At 3:44 the doorbell rang.

I couldn’t believe it. I was on high alert because I was keeping an eye on my computer clock so I would know the exact moment that the pre-ordained moment arrived. I expected the doorbell, but not until 5. So when the doorbell rang, and it was actually 3:44, I knew what I would write about.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe person at the door is one of my former writing students, Teela. Now she is a senior, and I am her senior graduation project advisor. But she wasn’t here because of the graduation project. She was here to help me for the next two hours with whatever tasks I had in mind. Sometimes, we work on data entry for one of my research projects. Other times, we work on record keeping. Whatever needs to be done is fine with Teela.

Normally, Teela comes on Friday evenings to help me. This week, she had something come up for Friday evening. It was no problem for me, she’s doing me a favor. It was fine for her to have a pass for the week. But she wanted to come and offered me three options for other times that she could come. That’s one of the amazing things about her. But there is more.

Teela has an amazing command of the English language. And I am in awe of the vocabulary she has. I asked her once how she managed to have such a large vocabulary, and she attributes it to fiction reading. Teela loves to read, and she reads novels in English and expands her vocabulary along the way. And it shows. When we are going over things that require reading, she has very few questions. She asks occasionally about pronunciation, which I’m happy to help her with. She is likely to actually use the words–correctly and in the right form.

Her understanding of English is so strong that she gets the most subtle forms of humor. She understands jokes, and makes a few of her own. She does this in verbal and written communication. She also has quite a grasp of American pop culture, so we always have lots to talk about. In addition, one of the things I like about Teela is her ongoing curiosity. She has many questions about all kinds of things, and she doesn’t hesitate to ask. Sometimes, I forget that English isn’t her native language.

Teela is one of the many people who make me feel comfortable and welcome in Taiwan. Through them, I have a new web of friends and a wealth of experiences; I treasure the friendships and the moments we share, and it will be very difficult for me when it is finally time to leave this place.

Thanks, Teela! I appreciate everything you do to make my life better. It’s a joy to spend time with you, and I look forward to next Friday.


A Moment in Time is a shared blogging experience, where writers document and share their stories from the same moment on the same day. The day and time for the next A Moment in Time is posted by Randee every few days in such a way that you’ll have a heads up on the exact moment to which you need to attend and focus on and, if it’s significant in some way, write about and add to the list.