A teacher is really a vocation, not just a job. And one can only envy the people who met real teachers on the way, who are able to ignite a spark of talent in children. Jamil Kochai was born in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, his family moved to the United States when the boy was just a year old. When the child was growing up, he constantly listened to conversations in Pashto and Farsi, because his family simply did not know English. And when Jamil went to school, he started having problems…
The guy didn’t know the language well, it was difficult for him to communicate, to do homework. Many teachers considered the child stupid and incapable of learning. But not all teachers were like that, as you will learn later in this story. The boy moved from school to school, as the family was constantly moving. Of course, this did not help to establish the educational process. The arrival of the family in Afghanistan also greatly hindered the boy’s education. But Jamil spent the whole summer in Logar, his parents’ native village, just falling in love with this place.
The boy has wonderful memories of this time. Only after returning to the USA, Jamil went back to school, where he could not remember a single word in English! Fortunately, one of the teachers turned out to be Miss Susan Lung. She taught at the Alice Norman School in West Sacramento, California, and was very dedicated to her work. The teacher noticed how hard the boy is given the language. She understood that the child had simply forgotten English while he was in Afghanistan.
He could not not only study, but also communicate with his peers. And Susan decided to help Jamil. The teacher stayed to study with the boy every day so that he would not lag behind his peers. They read a lot, learned English words. The boy quickly grasped everything, Susan realized that Jamil was very quick-witted, keenly interested in literature. Kochai recalls that by the end of the year he had learned to read and write English perfectly!
Susan, speaking about that time, believes that she did not do anything outstanding. After all, that was exactly her job – to help children! Even if it’s in your free time. But the Kochai family had to move again, so Jamil went to another school in the third grade. Kochai remembered all the time about his teacher, who helped him so much. The love of literature remained with him for the rest of his life! And so, when Jamil was in high school, he first tried to find Miss Lung to thank her.
But he failed to do it! The guy continued his search while studying in college. Jamil says: “I searched on Google and social networks. I called my old school and visited the district office. But it didn’t bring results, I was at a dead end.” Finding a teacher was hindered by the fact that the guy did not remember the name of his teacher. After all, he just called her Miss Lung! Without such an important detail as a name, it was very difficult to find your teacher.
One day Jamil managed to find a photo together with a teacher in a school album. But to his horror, Miss Lung’s name wasn’t in the picture! Jamil says about this episode: “I felt like a detective running into another dead end. It was so frustrating.” After this incident, the guy stopped looking for his teacher for a while. However, she played a key role in this story… literature! Jamil Kochai became a well-known author, whose first novel “99 Nights in Logar”, published in 2019, became a real bestseller and received many awards.
The man also writes articles for such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times. Only after learning these facts, you can understand how much his teacher did for Jamil! After all, it was she who helped him learn English, catch up with his peers, and also gave the boy a love of reading. The book about the summer spent in Afghanistan might never have appeared if not for the participation of Miss Lung in the life of her student! Even before the release of his first novel, Jamil wrote an article for a literary magazine about his teacher.
And this text was noticed by the doctor who treated Susan! He asked where she taught and asked about the little student. It turned out that she was the Miss Lung. The doctor gave her the contents of the publication, in which Jamil expressed gratitude to his teacher. After that, Susan’s husband found a writer on a social network! And the men agreed that Jamil would call his teacher! The man was insanely glad that he was finally able to find Miss Lung to thank her!
Jamil was very worried when he dialed the teacher’s number, but when he heard her kind and so familiar voice, he quickly calmed down. The writer expressed his gratitude to his teacher, told about his successes in the field of literature. And after a while Jamil and Susan met at the presentation of the author’s book! This was a surprise for Kochai, who hugged Miss Lung tightly, chatted with her for a long time and even burst into tears from the touching moment and overflowing gratitude.
Later, Jamil wrote in his social network. Networks the following: “My father always said in Pashto that every child is a rocket filled with fuel, and all he needs is one spark to take off into the sky. Mrs. Lung was my spark.” The message caused a storm of positive emotions among users, quickly went viral. The post has gained thousands of likes. How great it would be if all the teachers took the same active part in the life of the students as Miss Lung! Perhaps then there would be a lot more not only good writers in the world, but also just happy people!