Thursday, January 15, 2009

life lessons usually suck

You know how people always say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? Well, I think that's total bullshit, excuse my French. Sure, maybe it hardens you and makes you less susceptible to pain and suffering, like a callous that forms around your heart, but I don't think it makes you stronger. Wiser, perhaps, but not stronger, it just makes you realize what a cruel world we live in and how short life really is.

One of my students is in critical condition in the ICU at a hospital in Pudong. Her name is Saemi and she's in my 12th grade essay writing class. We talked a lot outside of class and she helped me plan my trip to South Korea with Romy. Her best friend Big Amy (she's very tall and there are two "Amy"s in the 12th grade, hence the appellation) is also in my essay writing class. The three of us have spent a lot of time together outside of school and they see me as more of a friend than a teacher (though they speak to me with respect and always refer to me as "Miss Strawberry"). Last week Saemi and Big Amy helped me pick out a cake for their home room teacher's birthday. On Tuesday the pair walked by my classroom and blew me kisses and made hearts with their hands. We've all gotten very close and I consider these girls my Chinese meimeis (little sisters).

Saemi and Big Amy went out last night to celebrate finals being over. I'm sure drinking was involved, but Saemi is a free spirit anyway and at some point in the evening she thought it would be a good idea to climb on the railing of the balcony of a three story club. Somehow she lost her footing, Big Amy tried to grab her but Saemi slipped through her hands and plummeted to the sidewalk below. Her skull was immediately crushed and she has been unconscious ever since. The club refused to call an ambulance and Big Amy was forced to take Saemi to the hospital in a taxi.

As soon as I found out the situation this morning I called Big Amy but her phone was off. She spent the evening alternating between the hospital and the police station. When she arrived back on campus I took care of her a bit: made her eat some granola bars and stayed with her while she took a short nap (she didn't want to be alone).

At around 3:00 we went to the police station where they wanted to question her some more. She was very upset and the police wouldn't let her leave, luckily they were distracted by another officer who came in with supplies so we left and took a taxi to the hospital so we could see Saemi before visiting hours ended at 4:00.

The hallway was filled with students and some administrators from our school. Visitors were allowed in one at a time and they had to put on a gown and cover their shoes with little bootie things. Tears were streaming down each person's face as they rounded the corner from the ICU to the waiting room. I knew things weren't good; the doctor had told us Saemi has a 1% chance of survival. I had to see her, though, so I suited up and went into the ICU.

Saemi is in a coma still and her skin wasn't the usual glowing pink it is in class due to the massive loss of blood she has endured both externally and internally. I held her hand for a minute and talked to her, telling her she needed to promise to get better since she told me she would draw me a picture for my room in California. I also told her how she did in class, since she was very worried about not knowing the answers on the final she took for essay writing yesterday morning.

When I left I told her "See you later, Saemi" and I really hope I do.


Frank said...

Wow...I'm so sorry.

I really don't know what else I can say.

Kel said...

I am sending positive thoughts and good vibes your way.

Andy said...

Makes you wonder, right?

XOXO said...

what the fuck! the place wouldnt call the hospital! thats fucking...ugh im sick

travel said...

How is Saemi? hope she's doing well and recovering....

tk care :)