By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, April 13, 2012
Last year, as a teacher, I learnt a very interesting moral lesson. The latter is that everything has its wonders. I learnt this lesson from a female student in my class. In fact, the thing that distinguished this student from others in my class was that she was born with a lame leg and had to walk with a limp whenever she entered the class. Notwithstanding, I always stress that she was the best student I have ever had.
I still vividly remember the gentle manner she raised her hand and the excellent answers she gave me from time to time when I posed a question. At the time, I was so curious to know what made her remarkably studious. At first, because I did not know why, when I needed a volunteer to the board, I unconsciously cast a glance at her, for I very well knew that she would be the best model for her peers. But she all the time blushed and declined the offer. Only when I knew that she did not want to be mortified in front of her classmates as a consequence of her handicap did I desist from calling on her.
Many days had gone by when I discovered that everything has its wonders. The disability in question too has its wonders. I could infer from her work that she read a lot, revised her lessons regularly, and did her homework on time. I could also conclude that she rarely went out for leisurely walks. I learnt that the first wonder that this disability has given her was that it prevented her from walking, the thing that made her stay home and read widely. It also prevented her from wasting her time on trivial things, such as chatting and courting with boys at that age.
When we were at her age, we all had different sorts of pursuits. But the thing that made this girl so special was that the main pursuit she had was studying. The fact that she was not able to enjoy certain activities made her concentrate on her studies, and later I learnt from other teachers that she excelled in all the subjects. I could very well understand her motives, for when I was at her age, I was not good at football. And because of that, I had to concentrate myself on studies even though I was not, then, aware of their importance.
The student ranked first in almost every subject. Had it not been for her handicap, I don’t think she would have done that well. And when I talked to her, it was as though I was talking to an adult. She was wise, respectful, well-brought up, and serious. Through her eyes, I could see that she was the first one to understand the things I presented. I am certain that she had difficulty dealing with her peers. And it was this difficulty which made her eager to voice her feelings and to show to the other that she too was great. The disability helped her make that true in her studies.
This instantly brings me back to one of Emily Dickinson’s powerful verses, the wounded deer leaps the highest. We do not expect the deer to leap high all the time, but when it is wounded, it goes through severe pain. And it is the latter which makes it think that to get rid of the pain, it has to leap as high as possible. I would say it is the case with this student. Her inability to walk like others filled her with the desire to surpass all her peers. I am not certain whether or not she is aware of this desire. Anyway, I could feel it.
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper.
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