The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Bidding farewell

 Bidding farewell
Bidding farewell

Bidding farewell

The problem with having a column that runs only once a weekgenerally means that breaking news events quickly become old newsby the time deadline rolls around.

This week, I thought about commenting on this upcoming Easterweekend. This year is extremely special because a dear sister inChrist will be baptized on Sunday.

Or, I could congratulate The Dallas Morning Newsphotographers that took home this year’s Pulitzer forbreaking news photography.

I could even say something about UConn’s 9-point win overGeorgia Tech on Monday night.

Instead, I am going to bid farewell someone I deem a friend.Monday afternoon was the last time I met with Tip fromThailand.

I met Tip at the beginning of the semester as part ofSMU’s ESL Conversation Buddy Program. We met every Monday(minus university holidays) outside the Student Media Company onthe third floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into,volunteering to spend an hour every week with a total stranger fromthe other side of the globe.

I wondered if I would be able to understand her through herthick accent, or if my lack of talent for the spoken word wouldcorrupt her handle on the English language.

But all doubt melted away in that first meeting with Tip. Overtime, we found out we had a lot in common. Our conversations werefilled with a plethora of topics.

Tip is a graduate student on an intense English program tobetter her communication skills.

When she returns to Thailand, she hopes that her speaking skillswill help her get a good job.

We talked about school. We talked about difficult tests anddoubtful grades (mostly mine).

We talked about cars. I told her about my odyssey of learninghow to drive a standard, and the pity I feel for my dad having tobe in the passenger seat again through this learning process.

Tip said it was one thing to learn how to drive manual, but trylearning how to drive on a manual.

We talked about driving in general.

I used to complain how my commute to school was impossibly longand the traffic was incredibly irritating.

Tip told me that in Bangkok, an hour or more commute anywhere isnormal.

It takes an hour to drive to school, to drive to work, to driveto the store, to drive anywhere and then return home. Distanceisn’t the cause — it’s the traffic that makes thehighways look like parking lots. And try driving in that on amanual.

I stopped complaining.

We talked about dogs. We talked about visits to Plano’sdog park with my brother and his anti-social four-legged friendAmee.

There was also my friend’s American Eskimo mix namedCollin who acts like he is above chasing tennis balls. Myfriend’s brother says he wants to bring in a cat one day tosee what happens.

Our favorite subject was none other than motion pictures. Everyweek, Tip and I talked about what movies we have seen. Ourdiscussions were filled with The Lord of the Rings,Gladiator and (yes) even the chick-flicks like UptownGirls.

Tip and I talked about many things that I cannot possibly fit in600 to 800 words of newsprint.

From just meeting one hour a week, I learned about Tip, and shelearned about me. She learned what a tollway was. I learned what mynamed looked like written in Thai.

I am going to miss my weekly conversations with Tip. She saysshe will still be in town for a while, but it’s not going tobe the same. She has final projects to do, and I have finals todeal with.

She gave me a great gift on Monday, thanking me for helping herwith her conversation skills.

In return, I am dedicating this column to Tip. This is my giftto you for making this semester a little more enjoyable.


Christine Dao is a columnist for The Daily Campus. She may bereached at [email protected].

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