https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai

After being assaulted, language is still my guide

yimantuwingyai
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I know this isn't a normal topic of discussion here but I thought I would share. I am an ESL teacher. I had a dream of teaching overseas, which I accomplished. I managed to live and work in South Korea for two years. I wanted to come home after this time and I had a dream of doing the same line of work in America. I recovered from some respiratory infections and spent several months getting back in shape and losing 20 pounds. I then concentrated my efforts into getting a job. Which I did! I moved to a city I had always wanted to move to. I was so excited to teach English there. I got a place to live on craigslist and the next thing you know I'm employed and working with students from around the world. Th e city is renowned for being one of the safer in America.

Then, one night I went out just to get some air. I have lived in Northern California for years before this in a really safe town. I never assumed that three thugs would strangle me and knock me unconscious. I woke up screaming with blood pouring out of my left eye. After being rushed to the ER I was told to just let them give me drugs. I drifted in and out of being awake. I had suffered an orbital blowout fracture and a skull fracture. My left eye completely swollen shut.

I went back home to Nor Cal and have been living with friends. I should add the criminals that assaulted me took my wallet, my phone, and my glasses. I can't see very well. I am typing this on a very magnified screen. The healing has begun. My eyes don't look like raccoon eyes anymore. But I can't go back to the city i was. Students were being mugged and the school was not honest with me about the safety level of the neighborhood and as you can imagine, I have decided to move on. I've talked with specialists. I've been tested. I've been told I have to wait for my eye to heal more before I can get new glasses because the results of the eye test could change.

So here I am on Duolingo. In a friends house. His parents are letting me stay here and quite frankly I just can't live alone right now. As soon as I get glasses I'll be able to do a lot more. Friends are giving me rides to doctors appointments and the store for food and pharmacy etc. The greatest joy in the world I have right now is language. It will always be my greatest joy, I think. I can barely do it right now. Maybe all I will be able to do is a tiny bit every day. But it still means the wold to me. I was only teaching again for two weeks but it was enough to remind me I love what I do. I will fight to do it again one day. When I look for work again it will be for literally whatever I can get that pays me enough to get by. But I'm not going out without a fight and I will work my way back to teaching, unless I find something I'm really passionate about that diverts me from that.

Thank you Duolingo. I need you right now. You and a podcast I listen to (Talk To Me in Korean) have been my saviors this week along with the angels in my life who are my friends, who have given me a safe place to be until I can move on. There is something incredibly healing about translation. It comforts me to learn words. It always has. It always will. It soothes my brain. Thank you for being here, for existing. Thank you for giving me an outlet, however brief, each day where I can feel normal again, my face plastered to my laptop with its giant magnified type.

I am putting this out there because I can. I hope you get something positive from it. A week ago I honestly was not sure if I could keep my eye. At the very least they told me surgery was likely. I'm being told this week surgery might be on option but not necessary for now.

I guess I will end this by saying language acquisition, language learning, to me is something I LOVE to make fun. As fun as I can. I love inventing new games, playing classic ones, getting students to interact without nervousness and with confidence. Nothing else gives me that feeling, that impossible feeling of satisfaction. Maybe nothing will come close for a while. So tonight I say to you, muchas gracias.

4 years ago

57 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Thank you for sharing your story, I can only imagine how painful, both physically and emotionally, this whole experience has been. I'm very glad to hear that you are improving day-by-day, and that language gives you a reason to keep going. Stay strong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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Hoping you feel better. :) Best wishes on your recovery. :) A few lingots to help you feel better tonight. :)

EDIT: Who is down-voting these comments? It's not fun being assaulted, you know. Nor is landing in the hospital. This man suffered a lot and has gone through so much so recently in his life to get to this point in his recovery. Please be nice and remove the down-votes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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I don't care if people downvote this. I wanted to show my appreciation for this site for making me feel better when my life is really hard for the time being.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AngelaDici

I hope you heal well and continue to find joy using duolingo. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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Lingots cannot repay In-justice

.For a Humanity

We should

Endeavour for a kind world

away from weapons and violence

Or

Is this just a dream

or

is there a united strive

for a fair world

with health care for all

and a living wage

a place that we can walk the streets

without fear

And happiness our by-word

Go in Peace

for a peace world

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/romeedward
romeedward
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No one in this world deserves to experience that kind of senseless crime. You're a brave man and very passionate on doing the things that you love. I wish your fast recovery.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marinia
Marinia
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That's such a sad story, you truly didn't deserve such a treatment. I hope you get better soon. But it's really awesome that you didn't lose your ambitions in life. Keep going!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachvx
rachvx
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I'll be praying for you! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
jolynnedougherty
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You'll be in my prayers, too. Glad you have such good friends to help you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I think Duolingo is a life vest in a river for a lot of people. The team set out to help people by teaching them languages, and I don't think that team ever realized just all of the different ways it would do just that. It's been a vest to me too. Thank you for sharing your story. We have some similar circumstances. Please be gentle with yourself, and when it matters, slow it all back to one day at a time, an hour even if need be. Don't let go of the vests in your life. Sometimes even watching a honey bee go about it's day can be an important event in our lives. Focus in on those moments. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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I hope the wallet will lead the police to them, Joe, and that you will have the reassurance of knowing these people caught and sent down. Be good to yourself and get well soon.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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Offering a prayer for your physical and emotional healing. Best wishes with your recovery and your language learning, too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hackneyduo

Oh your poor soul. I hope that you get better soon and even though I've got only 3 lingots I'm happy to give one to you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pp65
pp65
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Some lingots for your kindness. Use them wisely :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sherillynn

I am just praying for your healing both physically and emotionally. Being assaulted must certainly be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to deal with and I know it will take while to recover. So glad you have friends helping you through this. Blessings my friend.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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I just realized how many people lingots gave me. I'll be sure and reward those back for all your awesome posts! You guys are really sweet.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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A bunch of lingots to round out your day.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LilPeterPan

Hope you heal! That must of felt bad - very bad. Hope you feel better.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanButts

"This too shall pass" A old Persian Sheik had it enscribed on a ring. It was to bring him hope in bad times and contemplation in good. My Dad used it regularly and he was a very wise man.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TinaEdward

Thanks for sharing your story. I completely understand your compassion in learning another language and teaching it. I recently started working for a non-profit company where I get to assist in teaching ESL classes. I was doing this on the side after recently finishing Cosmetology school. After helping in the ESL classes, it has caused me to question my career path, as I love teaching others a new language and being surrounded by so many different cultures. Enjoy the lingot, my friend. You earned it. I hope you heal quickly and get back to doing what you love soon.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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If you have a BA and you get your TEFL you can pretty much teach anywhere in Asia or S America or certain countries in Europe (Poland, Czech Rep). If you need any pointers as to programs, please let me know. I know from experience how having a job be something truly rewarding can change you for the better, it just completed me in ways I never expected.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandApple
GrandApple
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United by hope. Duolingo has brought us all together and making us all forget the flaws of our world.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mirifis
Mirifis
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I wish you to heal fast and good ! I offer you my support of co-language nerd :) By the way, if you ever suffer from a trauma after the assault, the EMDR therapy will help you move on.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TarableTarah

Your courage is an inspiration. It can be extremely difficult to keep moving forward when there's so much uncertainty in your future. What you went through, the physical and emotional trauma, the lasting effects that this has caused you. I'm not sure I would have the same strength that you have shown, if I were in your place. I'm happy that you have good friends who are there to help. I hope that you continue to heal, and you continue to find things that brighten your day, and encourage you to fight for your dreams. Much love and peace :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyGeek

Wow, that sounds pretty nasty. What city was that? And did anybody catch the thugs? Maybe you should get a concealed carry permit.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/esperanzaninja

Will be praying for you. That is such a story of hope. I don't know if you are a Christian, but I am, and when I'm in times like that (though not nearly as bad!!!) I always look to Christ. He's not just some intangible force that is distant and cruel. He loves you, made you and will AWAYS be by your side. Things like language will not be worth anything in the end, but he is eternal. Sorry, random inspiration. :) I feel the same way about language though, there is something so... fluid and mechanical about it that is soothes me to learn. If that makes sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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I don't mind this at all. I'm not Christian but I have my own beliefs which have been quite useful in calming me down.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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What a horrible experience! I really hope that you will recover and that you will have a good time here with DuoLingo. I am learning Spanish as well, since I just love that language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachael_W
Rachael_W
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WOW! This is an inspiring story! Hope you recover soon and keep going with the language learning - glad it is doing so much for you. Thanks for sharing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jollyjohn

Language is what keeps us together as one. From Duolingo and I, we say "stay strong, nothing can stop you but yourself". May you continue to derive joy from this website/application

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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well said. Language can bring us together and I'd rather concentrate on that for now!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kmestery

Thank you for sharing. You sound like you are a wonderful teacher, born to the profession. Stay strong, take the time to heal - now and in the future. The world of students, old and young alike, needs you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FiveMagicsMaster

I kind of understand you, two years ago someone mugged me and almost killed me. I wasn't able to go out home without fear and watching all those images in my mind, it was very traumatic.

Then I realized how lucky I was, I was alive and no matter anything my duty was to get over it and live for the ones that couldn't. It was something that changed my life and made me feel thankful for every new day I have.

Wish you a good physical and spiritual healing :)

P.D.: I like to share songs with friends, this is one I like a lot and is in Spanish, hope you like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPuN2XZ4oPw

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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Thanks, I feel very much the same way. It was horrible but I just want to move on and I have a career that has meant so much to me via teaching language, and it has become a guide for me in many ways. It gives me purpose and clarity. Thanks for sharing that. Glad you and I both made it out! I'm trying to have a positive outlook.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FiveMagicsMaster

Something that also helped me was Tai-Chi and a little of meditation. I know family and friends try to help and comfort you but they can't understand how this is, I'm not a psychologist but if you need someone to talk, just tell me.

Que te mejores pronto y que tengas un buen fin de semana.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ValerianaCoyote

aw gee, how wretched. best of luck to you amigo, hope your healing is swift & goes well! my right arm is broken at the mome; i came across duolingo in my restlessness & have been having a good southpaw time of it as i heal too. glad you are supported by friends as you recover. take care~

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/R05L
R05L
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I see you are learning Spanish, here is one of my favorites phrases: "No hay mal que por bien no venga". Ánimo!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rothll

Wow sounds like a horrific experience. I wish you a speedy recovery both physically and mentally. If I could give you a piece of advice; Think about starting some martial arts, boxing or the like, it truely helps your confidence and to get over something like this. All the best!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconAddict
BaconAddict
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Thanks for sharing your story, you are a true inspiration. Things in life may seem bad, but don't give up the fight. You can and will make it through, just try to keep the positive attitude that you have. I'll say a prayer for you. Stay strong, my man!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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right on brother

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KristinChile

How tragic. Glad Duolingo has been a light at the end of the tunnel for you. Here are few Lingots to help you on your Duolingo path.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fyeahjasontodd

Praying to Jesus for you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DrLMoore

God bless you for your unwavering positive outlook despite the horror you've endured. I've only been on Duolingo a week - learning to speak Italian in hopes that my husband and I can visit Italy for our 5 year anniversary and speak Italian when we get there. I didn't even know until today that I could share lingots, but I want you to have one of mine in the hopes it makes your day a bit brighter. It's because of people like you and the creators of Duolingo that we are able to enjoy language learning!! Keep up the good work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QueenLavanya

I empathize for you- as a very minor gift to maybe bring you a smile- i'm giving all my eight lingots. We're all rooting for you!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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I haven't been on this site in a long time. Mainly because I've been busy working at my new job. I'm back teaching English and I'm not getting floaters as much anymore. In fact, it's rare. I just got some new glasses and it's an improvement on the last pair. I had completely forgotten I'd told my story here. But yeah, I continue to work teaching language and learning languages (Arabic is the one I've been working on slowly) and I will say when you do a job you enjoy, it's easier on your life in general. But really thanks for all the responses. I'm shocked anyone remembers this thread.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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:)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle
Corinnebelle
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It's still out there! What an inspiring story of your fight for your passion! Glad you have a good job!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoeyCheney

this is a really inspiring story! I hope nothing but the best for you and your students insert titanic theme

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kunstkritik
Kunstkritik
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D: I hope everything will be better soon. Great to read that you don't give up :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/evk01

good luck

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguarian
linguarian
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So this happened in Northern CA? I have relatives there. It is scary that lowlifes do such horrible things. I hope you have a speedy recovery and that your vision will be okay.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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No, this happened out of state. I omitted the location on purpose. I came right back because I could get medical care here (complex health care laws etc) and also because it's really hard to get around on my own for now. NorCal is very safe comparatively.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Heddman

I am touched. Good luck!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/radioactiveboy

This is absolutely beautiful my friend. I wish you the absolute best on your road to recovery. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/norteaga
norteaga
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Es horrible lo que te pasó, pero te envío fuerza y coraje para sobrellevar todo. Abrazos y buena suerte!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yimantuwingyai
yimantuwingyai
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Thank you so much. Muchas gracias. Usted ha me dio una leccion de humilidad.

4 years ago
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