Last week some of our Adult Literacy Program students went to the Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore to share their stories as part of a live event put on by the arts & literarure journal The Moth.
From their teacher, Amy Pechukas:
All students prepared stories for the event in the weeks previous. These stories were relevant to the theme of “fathers” in some way and needed to be five minutes long. One student crafted a story about growing up poor in Ukraine and hankering after ski equipment that all her friends could afford and how her father bought her the ski equipment for her birthday as a surprise. Another student talked about how traditional Chinese fathers are not demonstrative with their wives or children and the only time he touched his father was when he would hold his hand to take him to the doctor.
All the stories were memorable and striking. At the event, only the students who wanted to submitted their names for a random calling to tell their story. Hilda (Ximena), Felix, and Larysa all submitted their names and Hilda (Ximena) was called to speak. She hesitated but went up and told her story. She spoke about how her father was a good dad and very supportive and how he had supported her in coming to the US as they could not afford for her to attend university in Ecuador. However, sadly, now that she has come here she feels she has lost her relationship with him in a way due to the distance between them. She got a great round of applause and taught the whole class and audience an important lesson in courage. Her English was not perfect but her poise and confidence were outstanding and her story was memorable!