One day, on my way to work, I was passing through a huge crowd of people instead of feeling passionate, a sense of indifference overwhelmed on my chest. I have heard others talking about this feeling, but I never thought it would occur to me. The uncomfortable feeling followed me when I met my new home-teaching student. That was our first meet. Just as every student I had taught, I tried to chat with him to get to know more about his school work.
"May I know what’s the progress of math in your school?" I asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied without looking at me.
“Ok. Do you know your school schedule of the mid-term exam?” I continued asking.
“I don’t know,” he impatiently repeated that to every question I asked about school work. So I started to shoot more question without relating to schoolwork.
“What is your favorite food?” I asked and said, “I love chocolate very much.” Then I shared a bar of chocolate with him.
“I don’t like chocolate that much,” he replied but received it politely. Then I shoot another question.
“What do you usually do during your leisure time?”
“I love playing basketball, table tennis, baseball, and tennis. I play basketball every day after school, and I play baseball on weekends,” he couldn’t stop and continued, “I sometimes play table tennis or tennis with my dad on weekends if I don’t have a baseball game.” he said.
Then, our conversation continued and surrounded with exercises, hobbies, dessert, and even schoolwork occasionally. I told him I was impressed by his talent in handling those sports at the same time. He didn’t know why I think he was that special as nobody had told him like that.
For the passing year, our conversation was shifting from the academic studies that I was assigned by his parents and the intriguing subjects that were approved by both of us. Have my home- teaching student won the best academic performances in his class so far? The answer would be negative. Was he willing to study and to put some effort into his schoolwork? The answer is positive. I guess borders can be thrilling abrupt especially when we talked about people’s indifference. However, when we take others place, the borders can be struck. We are gradually layered and interwoven an understanding, thick with opportunities for reconsideration.
Just as the day I asked my English instructor ” Would people really get to know each other one day? " She gave me a smile. Then she said “ She wouldn’t know. But to be the kindest of ourselves, to be the honesty of our own, to show our respect to each other. We might crack a gap one day.”
有一天在我去家教的途中， 正當我穿越擁擠的人潮，一陣寂寞的疏離感湧上心頭，我非但沒因為人多而感到安心， 反而更覺寂寞。 我曾聽過他人分享這樣的感受，但我從沒想過我也會面臨這樣的城市疏離感的侵襲；帶著這樣的不適感，我趕往我的家教學生家，這是我們第一次的會面，按照慣例，我先詢問學生的學校課業狀態。
“ 我不知道” 他答道，眼神毫無交會。
“ 我不知道” 他語帶不耐的回覆。
他答道: 「我沒那麼喜歡巧克力」但語氣明顯和緩許多。然後我又問道:「你喜歡做甚麼休閒活動呢? 」
他說: 「我喜歡打籃球，桌球，棒球，還有網球。 每天放學後我都會去打籃球，周末也會去打棒球。」 然後，他好像是打開話夾子般。如數家珍地分享他在週末和父親參與的各式球類活動。
然後，我們的話題就圍繞在運動，嗜好，甜點…的生活瑣事，偶而也會談論到學校的課業。 我告訴他，能同時擅長各類運動是很了不起的事。這時他很驚訝的看著我說道:「 沒人告訴過他，這有甚麼了不起的。」 但我相信他看出了我神情中的誠懇，不是因為家教課業，故意的巴結。 因此，我們打開了對話的管道。
過去的一年，輔導他課業的過程，我們會討論學校課業的修習（這是他父親指派給我工作，教授數學/理化)； 另一方面， 我們也有自己的進度，互相分享彼此感興趣的話題。如果你問我，他是否有達到他父母親指派給我的任務在課業方面有長足進步。我的回覆是否定的。 然而，他是否開始會投入一些努力在學校功課，有自主學習的動機，我的答案是肯定的。這也是我在忙碌生活中，在那次感受到人與人的疏離感的那一刻，一直想要尋找的答案。經過一年的消化，我得到了第一份的解答。當我們進入他人的思維去設想，人與人的籓籬就能逐漸被打破。 我們能漸進的建構出一種理解，而這份理解更加深了我們再次思考的機會。
學生也和我講述了一個他在輔導的高中家教的實例。故事聽來看似平淡，但講的就是生活中大家會遇到的常態問題，我說: 何不把它寫下來呢? 很多青少年也有同樣的自我認同疑惑，很多父母親也有同樣的身處於與孩子溝通的焦慮。 這是一篇很溫馨的好故事「平常卻真誠」。 他說道: 「可是老師我寫的內容，好像都很容易流於嚴肅，很想寫一些輕鬆幽默的好文…」 我回答:「我們慢慢來吧，誠懇書寫最重要」。