It is the ninth day of the Chinese New Year festival out of a total of fifteen.
I would say that this is one of the more important days of the traditional celebratory fifteen as it is, according to Taoism, the Birthday of the Jade Emperor. It is a day of sacrifice (I don’t mean of the human kind, that would be pretty brutal!) and the item of choice is specifically a cockerel as it believed to be ominous. Folklore also says that before the whole family begins praying to the Emperor, they must first shower as an act that shows respect. It is a unlucky to “take out the trash” or hang out wet clothes on this day (but I have yet to find out why…) .
Today I gave a ‘hóngbāo’ – red envelope – to my Venezuelan lecturer who teaches the language classes for Spanish: Beatriz. I don’t know her very well other than to say that she is one of the more motivational and friendly lecturers who will always help you if you ask for it.
When I asked her about her most inspirational advice or favourite saying, she said that she didn’t necessarily have a specific saying, but she’ll always remember her fathers advice.:
Education is something that can never be taken from you.
Beatriz has emailed me, in Spanish, and I felt it was appopriate to add what she wrote here:
Hola queridos blogueros,
Voy a compartir con ustedes algo que mi padre me dijo a mí y a mis hermanos muchas veces. Esto también es algo que, llegado el momento, le dije a mis propios hijos, y que espero ellos, a su vez, les dirán a sus hijos. También espero que, de alguna manera, se lo haya transmitido a mis estudiantes. Mi padre solía decir: «Yo no tengo bienes materiales para darles, lo que quiero dejarles es algo que nadie podrá quitarles nunca, una buena educación». Siempre nos alentó para que estudiáramos, obtuviéramos las mejores notas que pudiéramos dentro de nuestras capacidades y que cada día aprendiéramos algo nuevo.
I am sharing something with you that my father told my siblings and myself many times. This is also something that, when the time came, I told my children, and that I hope they, when it’s their turn, tell their children. I also hope that, in some way, I have passed this on to my students. Mi father often said: “I don’t have good things to pass on to you, what I want to leave you with is something no one can ever take away from you, a good education.” He always encouraged us to study, to get the best grades we were capable of and that every day we learnt something new.
Regards (I like the British use of ‘Best wishes’), Beatriz
As you can see, she explained to me that her father, back in Venezuela, has never been a man with much money however he repeated to his children that if they got a good education, then it’ll take them much further towards happiness than money ever could. Even if you don’t go into the specific field for your degree, masters, etc; that journey is more priceless than anything. Education isn’t just about having a piece of paper in our hands proving that we’ve survived a few years acquiring new knowledge (willingly or not), it also includes the experiences we have, the relationships create and above all, finding out what we value in life. Today I found out I have a place at Sheffield University for a Masters’ Course and I don’t believe in coincidences but I’m going to call it serendipity that I received this advice today before the news. It strengthened my desire to continue with education because I know that it can only enrich my life, not hold me back.
Good luck to all final years applying for various things as their next step in life. 😀
Lots of love,
Ps. I apologise for the rather short post, I’m rather exhausted (pathetic excuse I know) and the words haven’t been flowing quite as easily as they do.