The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Interviewing my mom, there were only a few moments in life where she remembered and cherished. She told me how the poem she wrote was read to her whole school and how proud it was for her because she grew up having less than her fellow classmates. This poem and accomplishment let her know that just because she had less, it doesn’t mean she is less. Unfortunately, my mom had to stop after high school because of financial issues, but this memory is still something she talks proudly till this day.

The sun was unforgivingly exhibiting its blaze. The group of students that were forced to stay under it moaned and grunt as they wiggled their body and played Simon says to the morning exercise announcement in the schoolyard. Hundreds of students were all dressed in uniformed blue and white tracksuits that had the school’s name printed near the heart. Around their necks, they wore the red scarf that represented they were apart of China’s young pioneers. 

Chao would try to stretch her arms as much as possible to playfully hit her friend to make this morning routine more tolerable. As they finished the last command, they stood still waiting for the signal to return to class. Staring at the stage where the teachers stood to monitor the students, two upperclassmen were asked to carry the wooden stand in the corner and position it in the middle. This was odd, Chao thought. Normally, this is when the teacher would start calling classes to allow them to go back into the building, like a reverse fire drill. Instead, the teacher came up to the stand and tested the mic Pat Pat “Testing one-two, one-two, we would like to make a special announcement on this essay we recently reviewed.” 

Hearing this, Chao started to look down at her shoes and started counting the number of dirt spots. She was already tired of standing and was eager to go back indoors where the sun could not hit her until she heard, “Chao, could you please come up to the stage and read your essay out loud.” Did they just call her name? She looked at her friend and they both just stared for a second until her friend pushed her and said “Go! What are you doing?!”. Chao could not believe it, as she stumbled toward the stage, and stood on a stool since she was too short for the stand, she smiled. She carefully placed her paper down and looked at the crowd that looked like millions of people and started confidently reading her paper like a celebrity. It was only a short poem that she wrote the other day without much thought of it being read nor favored by the teachers. She wrote about her mom and how much she looked forward to when her mom came back from work. With the teachers wrapping it up and saying thank you, the five seconds of clapping from the students made Chao forget that she was ever tired of standing and wanted to stay on stage for the rest of the day. 

Big Day

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Interviewing my mom, there were only a few moments in life where she remembered and cherished. She told me how the poem she wrote was read to her whole school and how proud it was for her because she grew up having less than her fellow classmates. This poem and accomplishment let her know that just because she had less, it doesn’t mean she is less. Unfortunately, my mom had to stop after high school because of financial issues, but this memory is still something she talks proudly till this day.

Decade: 1960s
Rating:
Recorded by sonia zhang on June 2, 2020
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