Nursing Home Musing

    Music has always been a part of my life. My older siblings played the violin so I was more than eager to join in with scratchy renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Jingle Bells. They had to let me join in, otherwise they had no peace from my curious fingers plucking their violin strings as they tried to practice. My little body swelled with joy whenever Mrs. Bishop came for my violin lesson. At the age of three, I did not realize the impact music would have on me, and through me to other people, over the years. 

  I loved to play the violin but I was quite hesitant to perform in front of anyone. Thoughts of "What if I make a mistake? What if they are expect me to play better than I actually do?" constantly swirled around in my punctilious head every time I prepared to play.  Although somewhere in my demanding brain I knew that it was not true, I thought that when people asked us to play it was because they were out of “real musician” options and that our little amateur string quartet was the last resort. These negative thoughts did not help my self worth.  

As an opinionated, slightly fastidious teenager, there was one place I wished I never had to go into again, it was a nursing home. However, that was where I found myself at least once a month, breathing in the stale, putrid air of that awful death-just-around-the-corner smelling place. I was never the picture of joy and usually settle for a well practiced look of boredom. For some reason the residents’ faces always lit up with happiness to listen to my music.

  At a certain nursing home I frequented at least once a month, was a large lady in a wheelchair. She had a blank witless expression, droopy face muscles and was probably on so much medication that her mind was fogged up like condensation on a car window in the cold. I kept my disdain to myself as I set up to play. As we played and sang, the residents seemed to become so much more lively. I cannot remember the exact day this happened, but the particular lady I had been observing, month after month, seemed to wake from her inanimate slumbering. She smiled marginally and even sang along to the hymns and old choruses that we played. She knew them! While watching said lady thoroughly enjoying herself, I felt rather guilty for being so reluctant to go and spend just a small amount of time with these older people, who are shut up in a forlorn building all the time without many visitors. It was on one of these visits that I decided to be more accommodating, and to enjoy myself when I play the violin. So what if the atmosphere was unpleasant and I was terrified to touch anything in fear of contracting something deadly? I was there doing something I loved, bringing joy to the hearts of people who were deprived of love, but I had been letting my selfishness and immature response to my surrounds determined how I acted and treated others less fortunate than I was.

  From then on, I resolutely determined to go to every nursing home, and all other places at which I had the opportunity to play, with more of a positive, cheerful outlook on things and use my talent to make other people happy. Somehow an elderly, wheelchairbound
woman with limited mobility and limited speech, taught me to overcome my own limitations of nonsensical selfishness and immaturity. She taught me to appreciate the gift of being young and mobile, because it does not last forever. She taught me to appreciate the gift
of bringing joy to others, because it brings me just as much joy, and she taught me that you must never judge people by their present problems and limitations. If I even had the chance to meet this lady again, all I would say is “Thank you”.

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Our students need your help! 讓學生好文出來!

 

Below are four essays written wholly by TAIS students. They are competing for a $30,000 TWD scholarship. Please read these short essays and vote for the one you believe is the best written. Think about:

 

此篇文章是由TAIS學生撰文,正在爭取贏得獎金3萬元的寫作競賽,請您在閱讀文章之後投下您心中覺得寫得最好的一篇,按讚之前請您想一下:

 

  • Is the story told in a unique way? 說故事的方式是否獨特?
  • Is the delivery creative and with a clear "voice" of the writer? 是否具創造性並清楚的傳遞了撰文者的心聲?
  • Is it easy to read this essay? Is it enjoyable and memorable? 容易讀嗎?是有趣的、難忘的嗎?
  • Were the rules of writing followed? (Give leeway on grammar since their first language is Chinese.)有符合寫作原則嗎?(請容許文法使用的誤差畢竟這些學生的母語是中文)
  • Is there a clear introduction, body, and conclusion? 是否有清楚的起、承、轉、合?

 

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創作者介紹

南投縣復臨國際實驗教育機構(Taiwan Adventist International School)

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