Peach and Plum Blossoms

The following was written by Wang Ping, a “not good enough” teacher according to Macalester College administrators. Wang is involved in a discrimination suit with the college. See the previous posts for more info.

Peach and Plum Blossoms

by Wang Ping

Tue., Feb. 19, 2013

Today Peter became a tenure-track professor at Macalester. He took my intro workshop 12 years ago, and changed his path from history to fiction. His first book won LA Book Award. English Department is celebrating.

13 years ago, Alex walked into my classroom on his cane. He just had a brain surgery. I told him I’d save him a seat in my class when he was ready. He came back…. Now he’s a poet and professor with five books. His Happy is the NYT’s bestseller.

Jane got Nick Adam’s award for her short story.

Lee got Nick Adam’s award for her story.

Simon was a Rhode Scholar.

Dan visited the Stillwater prison with me for poetry workshops. His life was never the same.

Oliver is the USA Today journalist.

Legacy is NYC’s top ten young artists. We fought hard with the administrators for her right to do the honors’ project.

Daniel was the first Macalester student selected by the Loft “In Road” program. He was a pre-med major when he came to my intro class. “Come back when you’re ready,” I said. And he did.

Tressa was the finalist for Nick Adam Award.

Oliver and Luke started the Cloud City Press.

Kate, Colin, Neil, Ryan, Luke, Darrel, Ahmed, Alister, Anna, Evan, Georgia, Kira, Tatiana, Nora, Amber, Oliver, Jeff, Alex, Kerry, Vendela…all brilliant poets.

Maura, Oliver, Nick, Jeff, Katy, Amy, Eliza, Peter, Alex, Tom, Vanessa, Stuart, Yansuo, Laurie, Kareen, Jenna, Emma, Alex, Ellen, Mike, Jake, Megan, Ahmed, Hiroki, Caitlin, Jane, Karen, Sarah, Peter, Maggie…brilliant writers.

And all the unnamed, hundreds, thousands of you…your sounds, faces and words, your pain, sweat and joy, your stories, ours…still alive in my memory.

You chose a path full of thorns and light. I hope you have no regrets.

I don’t, even though I was a “bad” teacher.

I wish I could attend Peter’s celebration at Macalester, a peach in full blossom.

* In China, peach and plum blossoms are euphemism for students.

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