The Interview of Mrs. Walker’s Story

Darius Kim

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In Pilgrim School, Mrs. Walker is known as the elementary school Mandarin teacher, and has worked here for 12 years. She does work at 2 other schools called St. James and Waverly School, but likes to work here the most. After all her experience here, in Waverly, and St. James, she says that the thing that satisfies her the most is to see her students improve.

Ever since her childhood she loved to read, but after the Chinese government suppressed many books, they became harder to come by and she appreciated them a lot more. The leader of China that time who was Mao Zedong, put China into 30 years of censorship until a new leader reversed those actions. He did this because of his cultural revolution, and to regain power and control over the youth. At her school when she was in 4th grade, people sent by the government took all of the books that promoted ideas that went against the government from the libraries to be burned. Mrs. Walker broke a window so that she could sneak out as many books she could into her house. Her favorite book written in English is Tom Sawyer, but she will read almost any book written in Mandarin. Another thing that started in her childhood would be her appreciation of rice. Rice is an important ingredient in many asian meals including Chinese cuisine, she grew up with it and liked the meals that included it.

Her early education was in China, but then she moved to America for her college education and doctrine. In the USA she took six years of language school, so that she could understand English. Before she immigrated to the USA, she was a medical doctor in China. During her medical studies she visited a Chinese province called Tibet, which is in the west deserts nearby India. Her most memorable event would be the time when in Tibet, she got the chance to meet a boy who woke up from a coma. He spoke the native language so she did not understand him, but he would always come to her and play with her supplies such as “my keys, my pens, my everything.” Mrs. Walker and the child did not understand what the other was saying, yet they were able to communicate with each other. She still remembers those precious memories vividly to this day even though it happened so long ago.

She originally wanted to become a medical doctor, but would have to start from the very beginning because she did not understand English well that time. Her next choice was to become a Mandarin teacher because she enjoyed teaching, and was considered to be exceptional at the Mandarin language. She has taught in St. James school, Waverly school, but Mrs. Walker has taught at Pilgrim school the longest. Her favorite is Pilgrim School because she likes the students, the sense of community, and the determination of the students here. In her years teaching here, she has always appreciated the kids who make good progress in learning Mandarin, but if there was one thing she was to change it would be to make “my program better and better, more acceptable for my students.”

She is married with a son, and has 2 grandchildren 1 being a boy and 1 being a girl. Her family also owns 2 dogs and 6 cats, but all of her pets were strays and she admires the fact that she saved them. In her free time, she still appreciates reading books, just like she did during her childhood. In the summer break prior to this year, she went to London in England and Hawaii. When it comes to holidays she favors “Thanksgiving and The Chinese New Year, but not Christmas.” She “loves the feeling, always that’s my time every year.” What she likes about Thanksgiving, is the fact that everyone is showing their gratitude and thankfulness from the whole year, in this one day. The Chinese New Year is a reminder of her childhood and enjoys the traditions involved.

Most of us think of Dr. Walker as any other teacher who teaches Mandarin, but she actually has a lot of experience in our school and other schools. One of the great things about her is that she is able to relate with her students like friends and as a teacher. Her students are thrilled to learn from her classes and don’t want to leave.

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