Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover - Storytime

01 Jun 2018 03:22 7,246
50,724 1,093

By Thomas McFall | Subscribe:
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This is one of a true stories about immigration and friendship. Once there was a student called Tom. He attended management classes. He sat in the same front-row seat every single day.

He often found himself sitting next to this one foreign guy, whose English was very barely. About the most complex thing this guy was able to say in English was, “Wow, my muffin is really good”. He also tended to place everything he owned – his bag, food, books, phone – right all over Tom's desk space, like ALL the time.

Every day when Tom walked through the door for class, he would say “Ah, Tom. You here. Okay.” He then frantically started removing all his stuff from Tom's desk. He was also in the habit of saying, “Ready for class, yeah?” to him every day, and then high-fiving him.

For all these reasons, Tom tended to always feel annoyed at this guy. In his mind, he was thinking “Dude, you know that’s where I sit every day. Why do you put your stuff there each time, then? And seriously, I really have no interest in high-fiving a guy who doesn’t even know English at 8 am! Just get your things out of my work area.”

Today, however, Tom got to class a little bit late. He was sending a text message just outside the room. Through the door, he could see that, as usual, his space was occupied by this guy’s belongings. While he was writing his message, another student, who was also running late, walked into the classroom ahead of him and attempted to sit in his usual spot, because it was right by the door.

Then he saw the high-fiving foreigner guy stop this dude from taking the seat, saying “I’m sorry. My good friend Tomas sits here.” It was at that moment that Tom understood everything – the foreign guy didn’t put his stuff in his spot to irritate him. He was doing it because he wanted to save the place for him every morning!

Tom had been thinking too much about himself to notice this, or to see that the foreign guy actually wanted to be his friend. As cheesy as it sounds, he was touched.

He then went into class. Of course, the foreign guy cleared away his things from the seat and said “Ah, Tom. You here. Okay.” And they did their usual high five. After class, Tom asked him if he wanted to go to lunch with him. He did, and they got talking. Tom finally got past the guy’s imperfect English. It turned out that he’d moved here from the Middle East to get a college education in the USA. He was planning to return home after he got his degree. He was married with two children. He had a full-time job, and sent everything he earned back to his family.

Tom asked him whether he liked the States. He explained that although he missed his family, it was an exciting place to live. He then said, “Not every person is nice to me like you are, Tom.” Tom bought him that lunch – he deserved it. Then he got another high five; it was a tradition now.

What’s the moral from today's storytime? Don’t think only about yourself, like Tom did. He didn’t realise for nearly an entire semester that this guy just wanted to be friends. But it’s better late than never!


I was ALWAYS annoyed with this guy! 0:19
Another guy who was also late tried to take my seat 1:21
I was touched...1:40
Touching story of foreign student from Middle East 2:02
Moral of the story 2:44

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