Friday, February 17, 2017
Gift for America
“Good Morning, Christopher!” the tutor in a Catholic school said.
Christopher was a new student, six years old, in First Grade. He needed help with English, his second language. This was his first meeting with the tutor.
Christopher didn’t answer the tutor. He looked unhappy.
The tutor greeted him in Spanish. .
When he still didn’t answer, the teacher asked if something was the matter.
“Don’t you feel well? Are you sick? Does something hurt?” She asked in English and in Spanish.
Christopher’s bottom lip trembled. He tried hard to hold back the tears.
At last, the words burst out.
“The teacher screamed at me because I can’t read,” he said. The teacher was not his regular teacher, but a substitute who came occasionally.
Now, the new tutor promised she would never scream at him. Together they did the lesson. He seemed happier when she took him back to his classroom.
Each day, Christopher and the new tutor met. His English improved rapidly.
Then, one day, Christopher, didn’t seem to want to begin the class. He looked pensive.
The tutor asked, “Is something the matter?”
Christopher struggled to say all the words correctly. “You know that teacher who yelled at me? She doesn’t yell anymore, because I can read. I asked jesus to help me, and he did!”
As the tutor got to know Christopher, she came to love him. He was such a thoughtful six year old.
One day, Christopher came to the class with a puzzled look on his little face. He had just come from Religion Class. He looked up at the tutor and asked, “What was before God?”
The tutor tried to answer, but she was amazed at the profound question six-year-old Christopher asked.
When she got home that night, she had supper with her family.
She told them about Christopher and his question.
Her husband said, “How fortunate we are that so many people from other countries come to America. Christopher is a gift. If he can ask questions like this at six, imagine what he will contribute to our country as he learns more and more.
“We have a deep thinker in this little child. We need to give thanks to God that he has led him here.”
The tutor’s children bowed their heads as their father and mother prayed and gave thanks for Christopher and the gifts immigrants bring to America.
Then, they played a game to see who could name famous immigrants who have been gifts to America.
They named scientists, doctors, statespersons and many others. Can you name some?
A FEW FAMOUS IMMIGRANTS
Leoh Ming Pei: architect of East Wing of National Gallery, Washinton DC
Madeline Albright, Secretary of State
Albert Einstein, Physicist
John Muir, Naturalist
Joseph Pulitzer, newspaper publisher
Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice
©photo & story Elizabeth V Roach 2017