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六月有奖征文:One Who is Benevolent Enjoy Longevity

作者:戴志民 | 来源:厦门城市职业学院

 Time flies. Although over two decades have passed, my heart is full of fond memories for Audra Moss, my English teacher from America who passed away 2 years ago. We first met in 1991 at Xiamen University when I was an undergraduate student and she was teaching a class in American drama. Audra arranged the class for English majors as a part of her stay in China along with her husband Joel Moss, who was also teaching in the same department.

When her class began, Audra asked us all to sit in a circle. She gave us a topic and asked us to prepare a performance in five minutes. We gave our performances, and then she offered her comments and suggestions. It was painful at first as I have little acting talent and I was so nervous that it was hard to even control my arms and legs. Sometimes I would simply come to a stop. However, Audra patiently encouraged me and gradually I became more confident. I will never forget her kind warm eyes.

 We held two public performances on campus, both of which were a success. Before each performance, Audra held a group praying in which we hoped for a successful show. Our performances won warm applause and therefore we were invited to give a performance at nearby Lujiang University. Our success was largely due to Audra, who was our director, set designer, wardrobe designer and stage manager. She even prepared snacks and fruits for rehearsals at her home.

On weekends, Audra hosted rehearsals and prepped our costumes and scenery. She even enlisted her friends back at home to help. She always had a smiling face and a boundless energy; her passion came to life through drama. She demanded the best of herself and worked hard to help us do the same.

 Audra continued to teach for one year after my graduation, inviting her students and former students to sing Christmas hymns at the local Holiday Inn on Christmas Eve. She periodically invited us to campus on weekends for parties or simply to chat at her home. She always made time for us. She was unfailingly warm and attentive.

Good times are always too short and when time came for her to leave, we all gathered together to share our warm farewells. Her female students cried openly and even her male students did their best not to cry. Audra missed us so much that she came back for a visit two years later, staying at guest house on campus and inviting us to visit the botanical gardens with her family.

Most of her students stayed in touch with her over 2 decades, with some visiting her periodically. She emailed many of us and always had a sharp memory, remembering our visits and keeping up on the developments in our lives. As she grew older and travel became impractical, she encouraged us to visit her in America. In 2012 she wrote to me alone: You were one that struck a very special chord in my memory. I'm now 88 years old so won't be around for too much longer. We will roll out the red carpet for you any time you can come and visit." Tears rolled down my face as I read these lines.

Audra loved to learn and thought highly of education. She graduated as Valedictorian from Rigby High School in 1942.  She later received her Bachelor, Masters & Doctorate degrees from Brigham Young University.  Audra developed two educational TV shows with Joel, her beloved husband.  They also published several books.  She was a masterful teacher, and she and Joel traveled throughout the USA and Canada teaching with BYU Education Weeks.  She finished her teaching career teaching at Xiamen University in China from 1991-1993.We were so lucky to have such a benevolent teacher. She taught me that treating others kindly would warm my own heart. She taught me to put my heart into work and derive pleasure from my job. She taught me the meaning of true happiness.

Audra passed away peacefully at her home in Utah at the age of 91." She was blessed with 19 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.  The world was her classroom and she was both teacher and student. I cherish the memory of my time with her. She is in my heart always and forever.

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