This week we are focusing on an amazing woman: Connie Gibson. After nearly 13 years in China, her cancer battle (more later on that) is forcing an exit strategy. I do not like the thought of Connie dying. It makes me sad and uncomfortable and angry at the effects of sin. But one of the things I have committed to do with my life, as much as possible, is to turn into pain and not away from it.

Why is it that we wait until someone has died and then share with each other the impact of that person? So, with Connie’s permission, we will learn from her, mark a life well lived, and thank God for the years he has given her. This will be done in a three part interview: teaching in China, life in China, and her experience with Cancer. On Friday we will share with Connie the ways in which she has impacted us.

Creative Commons: thinkpublic

How many years have you taught in Nanchang?

I’m completing twelve and one half years the end of this semester and hoping that my health will allow me to finish until June, which would finish 13 years

What type of students have you taught?

I teach English major students in my writing classes but all other classes/subjects are students of all kinds, majors (both English and non-English) ages, levels and department and colleges within our university system.

Roughly how many students have you taught over the years?

The number of my students is rather small compared to other teachers due to the fact that my writing classes are limited in number and I don’t teach many. The reason I don’t teach many is because of all the other things I teach and do.

Stats… I’ve taught approximately 3,700 students in my classes. This does not count the teaching and training that I have done for other students and teacher training courses on and off campus and for special all day training seminars or workshops… I’ve done workshops for Chinese teachers and professors from around China… those numbers are not figured in here at all.

I know it might sound strange but I have spoken or given lectures many times at many schools and universities around China… An estimate that is pretty close or even an underestimate of numbers of students/teachers/others that I’ve spoken to are: 88,000.

In January of 2005 the university created a special award for me called the “4 in 1 award” To give me that award they had a special ceremony where they brought down two bus loads of journalist from Beijing to Nanchang. It included making me a full professor, giving me a car and driver, my house for life and a full time assistant. That was an amazing award and has been a tremendous blessing this entire time, especially using a car and driver, bus, van or whatever form of transportation I’ve needed for me and my students to get around to speak or whatever. Truly I am blessed!!!

Connie, I think those reading this are beginning to get a sense of your energy and impact! I’ve learned things I didn’t know, too. I’m tired and happy just reading this. But I know you’ve helped create other clubs and classes as well.

I teach writing classes as I mentioned… as part of this my students create children’s book in their small groups of four students. Some of these books are totally amazing.

I created a very special speech class that always has only 12 students. The students try out and will be with me for one year. We meet every Friday afternoon starting at 4:30 and go until 9:30PM. I always make a large pot of homemade soup for them for dinner. Plus they are required to go off campus with me to speak at some high school, other university or company place… once every month or two.

I have a public speaking class of approximately 40+- students who meet with me every Thursday night for 2 to 3 hours. They have to try out to get in this class also.

I created one of the most important English learning activities that has gone on now for 4 years and has done a great job in teaching leadership to my leaders of the group, we meet once a week in the evening for 3 hours where they watch a movie and work as a large group of 10 or 20 to create questions, which will be used with half the leaders on one night and the other group leaders  the next night, to facilitate a Movie Directed English Corner for other students (whoever wants ) to come and watch the movie and then divide into smaller groups of students who sit at tables with my leaders and talk about the questions regarding the movie and life… we’ve averaged as many some months of between 70 and 120 a night.

I started a group of 10 students to be my translation club where they work together in mini groups and then as a whole group, to translate children’s books from English into Chinese. They’ve translated a total of 7 books and done a great job.

I started a story-telling troupe that was another experiment that worked and turned out amazingly successful. That group was only between 6 and 8 students depending on the semester or year.

Can you briefly share about the speech contests your students have participated in?

My involvement in English speech contests started back in 2000 when I first arrived by judging one. After that I started training one of my students named Li Jiayu to compete in the 21st Century Cup English Speaking Contest. She won 2nd place in 8 southern provinces and went to nationals. After that we went to the very 1st CCTV Cup English Public Speaking Contest in 2002, which quickly became the most prestigious English contest in China. My student took second place in all of China. Every year since I have returned to Beijing for the contest… years 2002 thru 2007,  one of my students was the first place winner in the province. One of my students, Ai Lisha, took 1st place at the 2004 CCTV Cup in all of China. In 2008 none of my students were allowed to win that position, but coincidentally because I had no students there, I was asked to go to Beijing, but this time as a national judge, which I did. I’ve continued to go every single year since it started, even if I had no winning student from the province.

Share three changes you have seen in education (you can make these rather short and bullet point)

A. I’ve at least seen my students and those taught by teacher’s/colleagues who were previously my students, who are teaching more “quality based” rather than “test based” lessons and activities. B. I’ve seen a greater desire by the students to pursue excellence for real learning and not just wanting to memorize rote for the sake of getting a certificate or passing a national exam. (I know these last two are similar but one is the teaching side and the other the student side). C. There is push to have content classes, other than English majors, being taught in English, i.e., physics, social sciences, etc.

Connie, you have left an indelible mark on the lives of those you touch as you live large and invite anyone you encounter along for the ride. Tomorrow we look forward to hearing about life in China. 

Leave A Comment

  1. Stephanie December 4, 2012 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Thanks Amy for sharing Connie’s life with us. She is an inspiration not only as a teacher but as one who lives out her faith according to 1Thes 2:8 (shared not only the good news but her life!).

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      Amy December 4, 2012 at 6:27 am - Reply

      Indeed!

      • Tom Zhou December 7, 2012 at 12:06 am - Reply

        I couldn’t agree with you more, i am one of Mom ‘ student.And she is not only a teacher in knowledge, but also a teacher in life. I love her more than i could say. God bless her.

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          Amy December 7, 2012 at 5:45 am - Reply

          Thank you Tom Zhou … God has indeed blessed her through students like you!

  2. Andy December 4, 2012 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Yay for more props to ConnieMom! We can never have enough teachers like her in China.

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      Amy December 4, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Agreed!

  3. Katie Spohr December 4, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    I always admired her library book project, which was amazing. Getting supporters to ship thousands and thousands of english books in M bags, and then have the students create a library they can use all the time is amazing. I think she recieved awards for that project as well.

    • Michael Eves December 6, 2012 at 2:48 am - Reply

      The library is amazing and still continues. It was a miracle of organization and Connie maintained the vision and support necessary to make it happen. They should name it after her at the very least.

      • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:00 am - Reply

        Thanks Michael… it wouldn’t have been as successful as it is if not for teammates like you who worked it and showed up two times a week to run it… to say nothing of added work days inputting and taking time with the students.. thank YOU.

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 6:31 am - Reply

      Thank you for responding Katie. The library has been and is an ongoing project that I would like to see finished (over 10,000 books) before I leave China. Once the US Postal Service stopped allowing M-Bags to be sent by “slow boat to China” it became almost impossible to continue it in large scale. It used to cost approximately $62 to send 50 lb. of books now that same amount of books cost approx. $285 because it has to be sent by air. I’ve done what I could to hand carry books in my suitcases but since learning I have cancer most of my luggage space is taken up with dozens of bottles of holistic pills. Thanks for caring!! Connie

  4. Cynthia December 4, 2012 at 10:57 am - Reply

    It is hard to watch the physical deteriorate and eventually die but the way I read Connie’s testimony is: she is living the Kingdom of God/Christ which far outlasts any earthly kingdom. Her Kingdom living has started here and continues into the eternal. What a beautiful way to live!!!

  5. Megan December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Thankful to have caught this post, Amy. I remember Connie so very fondly, and look forward to learning more about her life and legacy through these posts!

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      Amy December 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Megan … see you tomorrow!

  6. Loren Pinilis December 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Wow, impressive. It’s cool to see people doing good, positive work and getting rewarded for it.

  7. Karen Mann December 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Connie mom to many of you …but Connie “friend” to me for more than 20 years. She has more energy, gusto, enthusiasm and drive than anyone else I know. I have always admired her. She is a true success story both here on earth and everlasting. It is so wonderful to see so many “tooting her horn”. Just think a litle blonde gal from Northern California making such a difference in the world!!!

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      Amy December 5, 2012 at 5:44 am - Reply

      Karen, thanks for stopping by! Yes, just think!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Thanks Dear Friend Karen… It takes one to know one… your passion and energy level is right up there with mine.. See you soon. I love you… Connie

  8. Issac December 5, 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Thank you Amy for posting this, Connie Mom is an amazing teacher, wonderful friend and a awesome cook! (I love her friday soup)and I’ve seen another side of her as a wonderful mother and grandmother when I was in HK with her and her son Aaron and granddaughter Talitha. We went to Disneyland and spent 2 days there, the first day we walked a lot and it was easy to tell that she was experiencing great lots of pain. so the next day, Aaron rented a wheelchair for her and we took turns to push her. We had fun a it was a lot easier for her. I wish Connie Mom could have one of those Wheelchairs here in JX, she needs to rest more,she needs to work less and sleep more! and also, she needs someone to push her and be with her. she needs to know that she can sit on a wheelchair and still have fun! they are not conflicted, like when we were in HK! and she needs need call and ask somebody to help her and push her. Connie has her students and assistants here and when she goes back to America, she will have her family, we won’t have to be worried about her, but we will all miss her and think about her lots and lots.

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      Amy December 5, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Issac, thank you so much for sharing! I can picture you all having a wonderful time in HK! Amy

    • Kwen December 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      Issac – I agree with your assessment esp that she can “be in a wheelchair and still have fun” and have others help her and show love for her! What a beautiful picture of pain & glory existing side-by-side. I was there and I saw it too.

      • Issac December 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

        Indeed, Kwen, what a wonderful picture! and as far as I know, you are one of those people who is helping her.Thank you! and thank you for the breakfast, It was awesome!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 6:38 am - Reply

      Thank you Dear Issac… it was a wonderful trip and I loved having you there with Aaron, Talitha and me. I appreciated your helping push me in the wheelchair. That was difficult for me to do but it really did help. I am trying to learn to slow down and take it easy. Thank you for love me and caring so much. Mom

  9. Roger December 5, 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I am a physics teacher in JXNU, it’s great blessing for me to be her speech class student and her assistant from 2008 to 2012. Connie has been using her wisdom from life to teach me not only to give good speeches, also how to be a quality person(a spouse, a father and a son). Even though I failed many times, but she embraces my failures and ask me to do it too, empowers my voice, encourages me to step out my comfort zone to keep learning through an open sight. She is a kind of person I would like to work with her with blood, sweat and tears.

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      Amy December 5, 2012 at 9:45 am - Reply

      Me too Roger, me too. Thank you for sharing! I am delighted to hear from a Chinese colleague! Amy

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you Dear Roger (Alex), I appreciate your kind words. I love you and your family SO much! Thank you for all of your help, both technical and personal, over all the years you’ve been in my classes and worked as one of my assistants. You and your precious family are part of my family too… I will never forget you and will hold you close to my heart as I return to the States. I will never stop praying for you. Lead in love and follow in discipled obedience. Always, Mom

  10. Michael December 5, 2012 at 10:43 am - Reply

    First of all, let me say thanks to both of you for posting this conversation for the rest of us to enjoy. Connie was my teammate for 4 years in Nanchang and I can honestly say my time at JXNU would not have been nearly as full, meaningful or joyful without her. Over the years I have been the beneficiary of many car rides, great conversations about teaching over good coffee, and been introduced to all of my best Chinese friends through Connie. I’ve learned from her teaching style, from her dynamic talents for developing real relationships with people, and from her relentless determination to serve JXNU and the people of Nanchang.

    I’m looking forward to reading the next installment of this series! Thanks to Connie for taking time to be interviewed and thanks to Amy for taking the time to write all of it down.

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      Amy December 5, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Michael, thanks for chiming in how wonderful Connie is! I can just picture the two of you chatting =)

    • Connie Gibson December 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Michael. It was great working with you too… There are lots of memories from the days you were here. I’d like to say thank you and Gloria for coming to see me in Portland while I was there.. can’t wait to see you again, this time with the family and it’s new member… love you guys!!!!

      • Michael Eves December 6, 2012 at 2:44 am - Reply

        I had the pleasure and great experience of teaching and learning beside Connie for 4 years as well. Connie gives her heart and soul to her students, family, and friends. She has impacted many lives. She has found ways to change the culture of education at JXNU and probably other universities as well. Her former students and colleagues go on to make great changes and strides because of the impact Connie made in their lives. Connie’s body may die, but her spirit, the Spirit within her, will continue on brighter than ever before.
        I know it is very hard for Connie to leave China, but she has done so much and made sure to teach so that her students can do even greater work that she has more than earned a rest and done exactly what the Father has made her for. As another great teacher, her students will go on to do even greater works than she.

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          Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:39 am - Reply

          Michael, thank you for your comment … you’re right, there are going to be little Connie lights all over China! Her impact is deep and wide.

          • Kwen December 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

            I like this…litlle “Connie lights” all over China……

    • Michael Eves December 6, 2012 at 2:46 am - Reply

      The previous Michael was Bumann I believe.

      • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

        OOPS>>> Thank you Michael… Eves… I made a mistake in my Michaels.. sorry. I appreciate your kind comments.

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Michael B.. sorry I mistook your message for Michael Eves… now that I have it straight… Thanks for leaving a message. I love that you enjoyed hanging out and that you came by to see me and spend some “early” quality time together for coffee and a chat getting caught up. I’m so glad you are back in China!!!

  11. Cathy December 5, 2012 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    What else can I say? Connie is a great Mom for us all. My thoughts are changing under the influence of her, just beyond words. I sincerely hope that she’ll feel better and better day by day and live happily with her family when she comes back to the U.S.A with the memory we leave for her. Such amazing teacher is rather rare in China. I’m glad that I could know her and be a student of her; thus I’m growing stronger and stronger. I believe that we’ll be more excellent as what Mom expects of us. Best wishes for you! For all we only be together for a short time, yet the lessons you’ve taught me will last for the rest of my life. I’m grateful for all your telling me. Can’t thank you too much…

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:32 am - Reply

      Cathy, thank you for taking the time to write … like you, I’m glad you were a student of Connie’s!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you Cathy. I’m glad you are one of my students too. Connie Mom

  12. Betty December 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    First of all, thank you Amy for doing this for Connie and let us be part of it. I ‘ve been Connie’s assistant for nearly 4 years and I’ve been her student for more than 5 years. It is really hard to describe her with few limited sentences. She’s such an amazing and devoted teacher to us. The more you get close to her, the more you love her. She’s always there for each of us. When you are down, you could turn to her and regain your strength from her big hugs and firm eyes which seem to tell you that everything will be ok. When you accomplish something, she would be the one who’s happier~ She seldom complains about her pain or shows us how hard it is but we do know how hard it is for her to fight against the pain alone and she still sticks to her traditional “chicken soup” which will always be there on Friday night nurturing our body and mind. She’s also a wonderful mother and team player. I am grateful for meeting her and having her in my life.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Betty, I am grateful that we can all share together and hear from each other our experiences with Connie!

    • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Betty. It’s been a true joy to have you as my student, assistant and most of all my “heart-adopted daughter” and friend. I pray for you all the time and will continue as long as I can. You are a rich blessing, sent from God to me, to help make my burden light and to be a shining example of the diligence and hard work that so many Chinese students are known for. I love you Betty, SO MUCH! Mom

      • Betty December 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm - Reply

        I love you, too MOM. It is you and the friends and things you brought me make me feel from the bottom of my heart that maybe four more years in JXNU is not a bad thing~ You made my wrong choice-to-be a right and meaning one. Thank you MOM~

        • Betty December 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm - Reply

          oops, meaningful~

  13. Nancy Green December 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Connie Mom is an amazing teacher and a life couch. I’ve been with her for nearly 3 years and experiencing her strictnes, profession, kindness and love. She is a great mom for us. I love her and admire her so much.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Nancy! I admire her too!

    • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Thank you Nancy… it’s been a joy to be with you. I love you.. Mom

  14. Elaine December 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I am one of the Connie’s students in the public speaking class , she is the best life tutor I’ve ever met in my life. I love her passion and big smile , I really appreciate that she devoted herself for our school for 13 years.
    Also I am one of the leaders in the Movie Directed English Corner and help her to do some type work and design the poster s for movies, I love to work with her for she always encouraging me and cheering me up. I just want to say, I love her so much .

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Elaine, I love her passion too!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you Elaine and thank you too for all your hard and creative work on making the posters for the Movie Directed English Corner every week. I appreciate you!!

  15. tom December 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    thirteen years of dedication, thirteen years of contribution, thirteen years of renunciation, thirteen years of benefaction…tempus fugit! though the decrepitude might be ineclutable,thine credits, thine merits and thine spirits shall but shine! thank you, connie mom!

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:35 am - Reply

      Tom … I’m guessing that Connie loves your passion! I know I enjoyed your comment!

    • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Thank you Tom… I LOVE YOU… you are always brilliant and shinning above the rest.. You are truly amazing. If it weren’t for YOU, I’d probably never have started the MDEC…. You are one of the best “question masters” I’ve ever seen, if not the best.. at least as a student. Thank you for all you are to me and thanks for coming all the way up for my birthday party. It was great seeing you yet again…. Mom

      • tom December 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

        Indubitably I sincerely admire and appreciate your passionate compliment , your positive recognition and your gracious blessing towards the very name, TOM, only sorry as I might not be THE tom which you expected. However, I’m more than sure that that that that tom holds definitely dwarfs mine. Still, we share the same love…( ^_^ )

        • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm - Reply

          OOPS… sorry Tom… I was speaking of another Tom and didn’t know it… that means you are one of my new Toms in the Public Speaking Class OR a very very old Tom from my early classes in JXNU… Thank you for your love too.

          • tom December 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

            That’s completely understandable and precisely the very manifestation of your unparallel service and sacrifice here! FYI, I’m the new-pizza-face-Tom..

          • Betty December 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

            Hey MOM, we got 2 new Tom in our public speaking class. This is Tom Xie, whose speech you praised is exceptional~

  16. Blake December 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I, too, know Connie from my tenure in China. Thoughts that come to mind: always happy, always joyful, always smiling. Thanks for sharing this, Amy, and thank YOU, Connie, for your awesome service in the kingdom.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 5:36 am - Reply

      Tis my pleasure Blake!

    • Connie Gibson December 6, 2012 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Thank you Blake!

  17. Caleb Griffis December 6, 2012 at 9:50 am - Reply

    She let me call her Constance. I remember it somewhat clearly. I don’t remember where I was standing but it was in her house and I was about to leave. I had never heard anyone try it before. No one dared. What would happen? Would she be insulted? Was there a history behind her given name that I knew nothing about? Perhaps, but I think she heard me rightly: kind of like a soft punch to the shoulder asking, “We don’t really take each other that seriously do we?” My teammates and I were a bit uneasy but in her face there was no sign of disapproval. She rolled with it and so I strolled out the door, a little smile forming on my face.

    Constance. I meant it. What word could be more fitting for Connie Gibson? (12 more years! 12 more years!) She has been through so much. Her eyes are deep with understanding for hurting people because she’s been there, often. Her embrace is strong and steady with love that knows what it’s like to need a hug and not get one. Those 88,000…those are the lucky ones. They got a glimpse of a love that doesn’t have a clue how to stop.

    One thing that I enjoy most about Connie is her laughter. It’s infectious (and potentially constant). When she laughs everybody wants in on the fun. Our team tried to see how long we could keep her laughing because it was such a joy to hear. On the other hand, few people have hurt Connie enough to NOT get a hug. Thankfully it never stopped there. She was/is always willing to work things out and I’m very thankful for that. Her laughter cannot be subdued for long.

    When I think back to the first time I called Connie “Jib-uh-son” by her real name it still makes me smile. As the year went on, her true name ironically became a term of endearment for a few others as well. But at that moment I knew we were something more than colleagues separated by decades of life experience and misunderstanding. We were friends.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

      You got me. Where’s a tissue?

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Dear Caleb, you always bringing smiles to my face, not just because you can be funny at times but because I love you so much and I consider you an extra special blessing in my life!!! I’m so thankful that we have so many precious memories together, HOWEVER, It’s funny how two people can go thru the same experience at the same time and remember it so differently from each other. ;~) First off, I don’t remember the whole “Constance” thing at all, just that all of a sudden you were calling me that, then came “Jib-uh-son” and I thought that was just a joke reflecting on how some students and leaders pronounce my last name that way. I will always love you and answer no matter what you call me.

      I would LOVE to have 12 more years! It breaks my heart that that is not going to happen! Right now, I’ll be happy being able to finish the spring semester 2013 in JXNU, God willing. Thank you for your deep and sincere comments Caleb. I’d love to be close enough to you to give you those “strong and steady embraces” every day as I used to. I’d love to have our regular early morning talks with hot coffee, discussions about classes, curriculum, students and life in general. I miss that so much!

      As for my “infectious” laughter, I can’t believe you posted “all that you did” on your video…. I loved the part with your delivery of Issac’s uncle’s special gift… BUT the rest???? Hee Hee, each memory has it’s own cherished meaning, even my “cackling” from the other room… you’re hysterical Caleb and I appreciate that about you.

      OK, rub it in. We have decades between us.. I’m OLD, I get it… but yes, we are friends and always will be, even after I leave this world, and for that I will be eternally grateful. You are definitely special to me dear friend. I love you Caleb!

  18. Ellen Cao December 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Knowing Mom is an answer of my prayer. I was new to this school. And it seems that I can not find anyone to share about the most important things in my life, and everywhere is DARK. I cried and cried to ask where is He. But through a random English contest, I got to know mom and also because of that I have the chance to be trained by Mom for two days. I have no idea how can I get that chance. First, I usually do not get into top three of speech contest and secondly, mom does not usually train the students of this contest. But I got the chance. And I am so sure that it is given by him to know such a wonderful amazing woman in my life.
    She has the most wonderful smile and great warm hugs that always make me feel loved. she always blink to me with this big loving smile. Every Thursday, I went to mom’s classes, deep down in my heart, I know mom is painful. Her cancer is bringing her so much pain and hurts but what she is doing? She is still bringing hope and love to those precious students in need. what kind of love is that? I know when I have a little bit pain I will whine about my pain but looking at mom make me to know be thankful. Life is full of pain and sufferings but mom can always thing the best out of it. Her divorce and the death of her sister, her cancer, and more that I do not know, but it is great to see a woman like mom who will strive to be joyful when everything else is so hard.
    She is a great woman of strong will. She is a woman of God. she is one of those people never tired of loving others. she is always passionate and teach others to be passionate. she is a woman who teach me how to passionate an pursue excellence.
    I love you , Mom! Thank You.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Ellen, thanks for sharing … I’m glad you have such encouragement in your life!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Thank you sweet Ellen. Your words are kind and loving. I appreciate them and you. Remember, you are never alone! I too am thankful that our lives have become intertwined and that you came into my life and became my beloved student. You are a true blessing to more people than you realize. Keep on keeping on, in excellence and in power beyond your own ability. He will carry you thru. I love you so much Ellen! Mom

  19. Trisha Zhu December 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I’m one of those lucky 88,000. I went to Connie’s public speaking workshop this April. Though it was only two short days(alas, no chance for the soup), I was deeply impressed by her dedication and unconditional love for her students, and how she has led her students on the way to excellence. In those two days she enlightened us, and more importantly, she touched our hearts. I’ve never seen any other teachers like her. She is truly one of a kind. We really need more teachers like her, and we also need to learn to be a great teacher like her.

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      Amy December 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing Trisha!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you Trisha! I’m humbled by your comments. Hopefully I’ll be healthy enough to come back next semester and teach another teacher training workshop for you and others who might want to attend. We learn from each other as teachers, as friends.

  20. Penny December 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    It’s such an honor to be one of Mom’s students, probabaly the last “generation” of her students in China. It saddens me that she may not continue teaching us next semester, but I hope her fight with cancer, which is another battle ground where she can burn bright, can go well. Actually I don’t need to say anything about Mom’s teaching, those who have the honor of being her studnets all know what an excellent teacher she is. I want to talk more about how her image changes in my mind, which I believe is the same process for most of her studnets. The first time I met her, she is an “legendary figure” on our campus, and I felt awe to be trained by her; as time went by, I still respect her deeply, but I see her more as a real person, an excellent teacher, and most importantly, a member of the family. I know her toughness and strong will, I also know she loves mutton and hates the smell of durian, haha. I know she wouldn’t drop “the quality of life” despite her strick diet.
    Sometimes I feel that as I grow older and gain more sense, actually I’m losing some sensibility and curiosity which are flourishing most in childhood. However, from Connie Mom, I see a person, although way older than me, still highly sensitive and passionate about life. She would hug every one, flash her huge grin to every passer-by, take photos with drivers, gatekeepers and remember to send them a photo afterwards. She would paint her face and pin two long ears in her hair to look like a rabbit, playing with little children in kindergarten. Her seemingly inexhautible passion and compassion still amazes me even if I’ve been her studnet more than a year. Wish you all well, Connie Mom. Love you!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Dear Penny, thank you for your comments and mostly for your deep thoughts and the person you are. As you know, age is not the determining factor of passion or compassion. People of all ages can determine to hold on to passion and be compassionate or they can let passion slip thru their fingers (lives) like sand thru a sieve. They can turn their compassion off towards others as easily as turning off a burner on a gas stove, if they so choose. It is a choice. Never turn off your passion Penny. Always seek down deep inside yourself and find the resources you need to keep moving forward. I will be praying for you as you continue to question and learn where that strength comes from. I love you. Mom

  21. Sherlock December 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Amy, thank you for posting this. Before being a student of Connie Mom’s, I’d heard so much about her. And this semester, I am so lucky to be one member in the public speeching class. And I am deeply touched by Mom’s passion on her work, her kindess to everyone around her and her optimistic attitude towards life. Mom treats us as her family. She loves us and ispires us and encourages us. She has changed a lot of people’ life. It is a blessing that such a great teacher, life coach and mom is with us. Connie Mom is an angel.Mom, thank you and love you!

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      Amy December 7, 2012 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Sherlock, it is my pleasure! One of the highlights of this week has been hearing from Connie’s students! Thank you for sharing! Amy

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words Sherlock. See you in public speaking class.

  22. Hope December 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I was in her public speaking class for 1 year and in her speech class for 1 year. These two years has been the most important part of my life. She has been a life guider and a selfless love giver. From her, I learned what it is to give and how warm a hug could be. I taught in a school for two months and when I left, I gave nearly every one of my students a “Connie Mom“ hug, they loved it so much! For me, it is all because of Mom that I would start hugging a person with all my heart and loving a person with all my heart. Her influence was amazing and still will be.

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      Amy December 7, 2012 at 5:44 am - Reply

      Hope, I can see that you embody your English name!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Dear Hope, how wonderful to hear about your experience of teaching for your internship. I’m so happy for you and of course for your students… keep it up and thank you for your kind words.

  23. Betty Mao December 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Well, when I was a junior, mom told me “wherever you are, be there” taught by her grandmother. I think someday I would tell this to my children and my students. One day, I would say,” when I was young, Connie Mom who I respect and love so much told me to pursue excellence, to think deeper and to get out of the comfort zone”.
    Mom, thanks for all the life lessons you taught us, thanks for your sharing your stories and life experiences with us, thanks for the “special” soup on Friday night which I have never tasted before.
    And thank you Amy for posting this!

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      Amy December 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      My pleasure Betty … thanks for sharing your experience with Connie Mom! I never tire of hearing her influence.

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you Betty Mao. I’m glad that you are continuing to carry my grandmother’s wisdom and the life lessons you’ve learned in my class, on into your own life experiences.

  24. Cream December 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Amy, thanks for showing this to us. I have a kind of special emotion of being one of the students in her last speech class. Acutally,I have known Mom for less than one year, but all the amazing materials she has shown us, and all the magical stories about her life she has told us, all the amazing experiences and chances she has given to us and by the way, all the soup she has prepared have totally changed my world.
    If it was not heard by myself, I will never believe that she is with cancer. Because she is really passionate and everytime when we are worrying about her health conditions, she will always give us her trademark grin and says she’s okay,she’s alright. She cares about her students not because she wants them to win glory for her or for themselves but because she wants them to find the potential and value in themselves and act their best. She is one of the truest person that I have ever met in my life,because everytime she talks, I can feel the temperature and eht effectiveness of her words and except for the truly love for her “children”, I have no clue about other beneficial factors for her to act like this.
    It’s hard to clearly list all the treasures she has given to us, so let’s change thousands of words into a truest wish:” Mom, take care, and I love you so so so so so so so so so much…”

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      Amy December 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Cream, the thanks goes to Connie and to students like you for taking the time to comment! Amy

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Thank you Cream…. cream always rises to the top. ;~) This reminds me that you are truly the “Creme de la Cream.” I love you.

  25. Lynn December 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Actually, I can hardly imagine such a old lady should be so passionate and persistent. Thank you, Connie mom! Thanks for your 13 years’devotion to JXNU, especially to us. I really appreciate your words of affirmation. You told us that you saw something in us. That’s a great comfort to me. To some degree, it’s the source of my confidence. God bless you! (*^__^*)

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      Amy December 8, 2012 at 6:03 am - Reply

      Her energy IS impressive, isn’t it :)!

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you Lynn.

  26. Grace Cai December 8, 2012 at 12:54 am - Reply

    I am a new comer.It really surprised me when I recieved the call from Betty ,asking me whether I was willing to join the public speaking class ,certainly I was so glad to be a part of you .The first time I saw MOM was in the contest which held at her home ,while I was doing the speech ,she noded to encourage me.I was so careless that after I finished my competition,I left my eyeglass at her home.The next day when I came back to MOM’s,as soon as she opened the door for me ,she called me sweetheart ,and said that she knew I came for my glass,which really made me moved.
    The first day when I went to attend the class,I was touched by MOM’s teaching method,she showed us many videos ,which I recently realized that was because in this way we could share the diffirent views towards the same thing,what’s more,everybody here were active to express .I have to admit that sometimes I am shame for my skills before those mates better than me,but I know this can drive me to work harder to make myself good enough as well.
    MOM is very kind ,smile all the time ,while she teaches us the learning skills ,she also telles us the important things in our life,trying to make us find the beauty of the world through videos,especially something about dogs,we all know that MOM love them so much.What MOM told us really gave me the power to struggle to create my own miracles.
    It sads me to hear the bad news about MOM, I am sorry I can not do anything that has a practical effect except pray for our beloved MOM.We all believe that good person is there to lead a happy life,and MOM is the one.The experience to be a student of MOM is bound to have a long-lasting influence on me.THANK YOU SO MUCH ,CONNIE MOM!

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      Amy December 8, 2012 at 6:03 am - Reply

      Thank you Grace, this is a beautiful tribute.

    • Connie Gibson December 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you Grace. I believe that prayer is always the best and most effective thing that can be done… thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

  27. Sophie Zhong December 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    I am a English major sudent, sophomore,in JXNU. I met Connie when I was a freshman~She is much more than an English teacher, but a life philosophy giver.

    When I first came to her class, her comment on my speech was: Sophie, your voice is just like a little girl’s. Actually, I make that voice when I am extremely nervous! Indeed, I was a pretty shy girl before her training, but now I’m pretty different, I have the confidence to speak in front of a crowd of people. Also, her ways to teach, her spirit in teaching ignited my passion to be a teacher just like her. Thanks to her I find my passion and faith——to become a great teacher who can help children with my love and expertise. This are life-long impacts on me.

    I have so many memories about her. The videos,hugs,cutie cards, sweeties, books, Friday soup, …countless! The most impressive and recent one is that FLTRP Cup Competition. I was number one in the first round, but in the second round, I was too nervous that I forgot my words and I failed the competition, ended up with a third prize. I tried to calm down myself and not to cry but it didn’t work when I saw her—–she was smiling at me even though I failed. She gave me a hug, telling me that “things happen” and I ‘m great. I still regret about it. And I hope I can make it to Beijing and win big prizes next year! Not because I want the honor, but because I want to prove that Connie’s studens are the best~

    I always hope that I can help her after she was diagnosed with that bad disease. I wish I could be a superman or something can cure her immediately !!! Uh~T^T Mom! You really need to take more rest!

    My mom is an English teacher, and Connie is also an English teacher. Both English teachers have incrediblely tremendous effects on me. I am grateful that I have great moms!!!!! And when I grow up, I also wanna be a teacher, pass this love and passion to my students.

    Love you mom. XOXO!!!!!

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      Amy December 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      Sophie, this is beautiful, thank you for sharing!

    • Connie Gibson December 18, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Sophie. Keep up the good work and never give up. I hope to hear that you have progressed throughout the year and are able to go to Beijing next year, but remember, it’s not about the “win” it’s about being your best and continuing on to pursue excellence. I am proud of who you are now, winning or not winning a contest will not change my mind and heart about you!!! See you again soon. I love you! Mom

  28. Andrea December 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    The very moment I was hugged tightly by Connie mom on last year’s halloween, i wanted to be one of her girls instantly.
    i think mom is a magnet,because she has the magic to draw the invisible but amazing strengthsfrom us and connect us togher, like a family. .
    she always tells us she feels grateful about the gift god gives her ,that is being able to see the potentials in her students. but she never knows, it’s her that makes us firmly believe in that.
    we love her hugs,love her smiles,love her stories ,love her lofe lessons, love her,just simply because she is our irreplacable Connie Mom.
    and plus ,everytime after attending MOm’s class, our dorm wolud talk about the precious life lessons mom gave me all night along. like anyone one else, we are neither perfect nor knowledgable, however ,we love the wisdom mom taught us.
    and thank you Amy for posting this.

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      Amy December 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Andrea, you’re welcome! Truly I have gained so much from this week! I like how you said Connie has the ability to draw strength from people … I agree!

    • Connie Gibson December 18, 2012 at 7:08 am - Reply

      Thank you Andrea. I appreciate your kind words. I’m also thankful that you are using the things you learn in our class to talk to your dorm mates about life issues.. I hope it is in English! :~) Love you, Mom

  29. Miranda December 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    I feel honored and blessed to be part of mom’s speach class a year ago.It wasn’t easy for me since the chance i missed in the first year and the contest i failed in the second year.She has always been a legend to me.I am so grateful for the time we spent together and the impact she brought to my life.Words can’t express my love, respect as well as my gratitude and regret.I left shool and also mom’s class since Augest right after Princeton-to-China program.I experinced a different life in a different world and i always remember mom’s words(“…be there”,”work for free…”).Those words and lessons taught by mom gives me the strength to hold on when things get difficuld and giving up seems so easy.Because of this woman,passion is not just a word or something i can only dream oft,it becomes the priciple of my life and i am living it.And all these make me a very happy person.Thank you,mom!Wish you all well!Love you and always will!

    • Connie Gibson December 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you Miranda. Keep on pursuing excellence. Don’t sell yourself short. Discipline yourself to do what you know you need to do, to get to where you have to go in preparation, and sometimes drudgery, in order to get to where your natural talents can be seen by those who can help you move ahead. Love, Mom

  30. Hooshine December 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Amy, thank you for showing us these! I have been Mom’s Public Speaking Class for one year.And I really appreciate that mom gave me the chance to study in her class. To me, she is not just a teacher, but also the salt and light in my life.
    When writting these, I find my thought upon how much mon have done for me, but I have never stopped and said to her how much I feel the need to thank her—as a teacher she uses a dozen ways to teach us how to share, to love others, and to be forgiving and considerate of others. And more important, she made me believe that I can make a difference!
    I would never forget the words she said:” I choose you not because you are the best, but because I saw the potential in you.”
    Mom, it’s you that let me know I’m unique in this world and it’s you that let me understand the real meaning of humanity and selflessness. THANK YOU& I LOVE YOU

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      Amy December 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Hooshine, I can see why ConnieMom says you have potential … she’s right!!

    • Connie Gibson December 18, 2012 at 7:09 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Hooshine… you CAN make a difference, and will, I know it!! Love, Mom

  31. Connie Liu Hong December 16, 2012 at 8:12 am - Reply

    We teachers in Connie Mom’s first seminar on English Public Speaking cried a lot. I was there and cried happily. For the past eighteen years when I was fighting my way along from a fresh graduate trembling on the platform to a non-stop explorer to learn to be a good teacher, I am always and always longing for an example, a life-changing experience to raise me up, to drill inside me the strength to go on rather than conplain on, to be a real doer rather than an observer. I got it. I make it when I was in April this year be there with Connie Mom and her unforgettable students who are all shining and moving me to tears.
    Today I am here and read all the interview and comments and I cry. I know I am never seperated from them. And I know how I will miss them. I want to say to Connie Mom that I am doing something your way this semester. I learned from you and later talked with your students Nancy and Penny how your film-based English Corner is managed and I had just finished a class called English film discussion class. Students and I discussed in depth about the questions closely related with the six films (both the details, the content, the themes and the filming techniques) in teams with each a film leader which I model on your fruitful team work in organizing your Corner practice. I invited my six colleagues and three other foreign teachers in my class more as students to share. I even had a co-teach with Jane, one foreign teacher.

    We played the toilet paper game and watched some of the thought-provoking short video clips you shared with us in the seminar. We did the impromptu speeches based on the video and we brainstormed and equipped us with many bullets.

    You see? You have students beside you in Jiangxi Normal University. You also have students here in Northeastern University. I will work as you work, and develop myself through living the process myself. It is really a coincidence that I have chosen Connie as my English name since I love English novelist D. H. Lawrence and Connie is one heroine of his book. But now I feel very happy to get the chance meeting you Connie Mum and Being your student in the seminar and following you in the way you like. Superstition? I would rather believe it a miracle. God bless you. I Love You and will always be there with you.

    • Connie Gibson December 18, 2012 at 7:14 am - Reply

      Dear Connie Liu Hong, thank you for your kind and wonderful letter and comments. It does thrill my heart to know that the teacher training seminar meant so much to you and that so much changed for you after that. I’m thankful that you were there and that you had a chance to talk to my wonderfully talented students, especially about the Movie Directed English Corner. I too believe it is an amazing program. I’m glad that you were able to adapt and use it for your own classes and school. Be sure to contact me by email if you have any questions about that or anything else. I’d love to talk to you! God bless you Connie!!

  32. Lina Shi December 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    A Woman of Love (By Lina Shi)

    Back in 2002, I first saw Connie Gibson at the 1st CCTV Cup National English Speaking Contest. At that time, foreign tutors were rare, so Connie was very conspicuous among the students and teachers. However, I was aware there must be something else so special about this American lady that drew everyone near to her.

    Since then our paths cross almost annually as long as my student makes it to Beijing for the contest. Apart from my first observation, my encounters with her, the books I have read about her, and the seminars and workshops I have attended with her or by her all help me figure out why Connie has become a legend in the English Public Speaking cause in China. What strikes me most, however, is not her “easy” success as a tutor due to her remarkable techniques of English public speaking. Rather, it is her love for teaching and speaking, for students and teachers, for China and Chinese people — a kind of unconditional love which is only made possible with her strong faith in and love for God.

    With that love she not only helps her own students but also everyone she could reach. In English Public Speaking contests, wherever she goes, she is ready to answer questions or share ideas. Whenever she sits in the auditorium, she is with a pen and a notebook, taking notes and writing comments. She assists students with their speeches, supports them when they panic, and comforts them when they fail. She is never short of loving hugs or words of encouragement. So many times I’ve seen students weeping or cheering in her arms, young teachers holding her hands or leaning against her shoulder…It is not surprising that she is fondly known as “Connie Mom.”

    Connie’s unreserved love is also reflected in her book A Guidebook to English Public Speaking Training, in which she generously shares all her brilliant ideas, based on both her expertise and her experience, about training and teaching students on English public speaking skills in and beyond the classroom. More significantly, with numerous personal stories and exquisite examples she illustrates to teachers how to guide and cherish our students in all circumstances, bearing in mind the importance of respecting and loving every student as a human being first. The book is immensely inspiring and motivational to many readers, including myself.

    Connie’s love for her host country and its people is also clearly testified by series of seminars she organized for teachers around China. I was honored to attend one of them in April this year (2012). For me and all the other 30 some participants, that seminar provided us with the best opportunity to know her better in person and experience her love at first hand. It was a two-day face-to-face talk, on thoughts and reflections on public speaking; it was also a heart-to-heart sharing of laughter and tears. Through games, videos, demonstrations, and hands-on practices, we exchanged personal stories and life lessons, lessons on caring for each other, on bridging the gap between fellow human beings, and on transcending lingual, interpersonal, cultural, national and intergenerational differences.

    Her passion and dedication have enabled students to rise from obscurity to excellence and inspired her colleagues to pursue the best of their talents and faculties, not to benefit themselves but others. It is love that has driven her to be what she is and it is love that is driving those who are following in her footsteps to be the best they can.

    Connie has come to China to serve rather than to be served. She has given away her last penny to help all those who are in need. She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. She has lived out the true meaning of love. And love never fails.

    • Connie Gibson December 18, 2012 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Dear Lina, thank you so much for your kind words and of course for your belief in me, my book and my teaching methods. You brightened my step after reading what you had to write about everything. Our meeting was not an accident and I am thrilled about our new friendship and all that means to us both. God bless you so much!! And thank you for sending me the video of your precious and very talented young son. I love it and YOU!! Connie Mom

  33. KK December 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    One of my biggest regret in school is that I wasn’t a student in Connie’s speech class. But I had the honor to be one of the discussion leaders of MDEC, and the privilege to study MDEC for my Master’s degree. I’ve spent seven years in JXNU, and I was blessed with many treasures. Knowing Connie and witnessing how she teach and love her students is one of them. I am an English teacher now. And I don’t even have words to describe how much influence Connie has on my teaching career. The dedication and commitment she has on teaching is contagious to you if you are a teacher and you know her. When I accomplished something in teaching, and people asked me how I got here, I would tell them my biggest inspiration-Connie!
    And also, I love your laughs! I remember one time we are having dinner together. Alex was telling us about his colleague. And somehow we came to the word “de

    • KK December 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      “Dependent” (I don’t know if I remember this right. It’s a dipper for adults) and we laughed so hard for about 10 minutes. I don’t know why others laughed for so long, I didn’t think what we talked about was that funny, I just couldn’t stop laughing merely because Connie didn’t stop. And that’s only a tip of an iceberg of how much joy she spread to the people around her. Actually I’m on a train to see Connie and say goodbye before she goes back to the States in two days. I can’t wait, cuz I miss her hugs, miss her laughs and just miss being around her. Love you, Connie! And thank you Amy for writing her stories!

      • Connie Gibson December 29, 2012 at 12:22 am - Reply

        Dear KK, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to come and see me before I left for the States. It was wonderful to see you and have a chance to give you a big hug. You are SO precious to me, more than you can realize! You too are looked up to and admired, as a very excellent teacher, one who has won top awards and prizes for your teaching abilities and passion. I am very proud to have influenced you in some way, but I am more proud of you, the amazing “family member” you have become and the pride you take in “leading” and helping others to ‘become’ and to achieve all that Father has for them. Looking forward to seeing and hugging you again when I return in February, Lord willing.

  34. Joyce Lv December 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Connie Mom-My Beacon:

    The first time I know Connie is two years ago when I got her book A Guidebook to English Public Speaking Training given by our school’s English Public Speaking training session. My attention and interest was caught and aroused immediately by the first page her wrote. What an extraordinary and amazing book! Unlike other books presenting theory first, Connie shows us her heart: her tremendous love for students and great passion for teaching, which strikes a chord with me and give me great inspiration as a teacher. I took down those inspiring and thought-provoking words and read them again and again, words like beacon leading me out confusion and darkness. In the later part of her book, amounts of practical skills, concrete teaching procedures and valuable resources in training English Public Speaking are given without any reservation. Never before did I saw anyone who presents others all her accumulated experiences and expertise so generously. Connie must be a person with a crystal heart. Then I surf on the Internet about Connie and I get more about her: Shining smile and big hug for the students as well as people around her, creative and humorous teaching style, everyday elaborate preparation for her class, selfless love and help for those people in poor condition………
    I can’t imagine how happy I was when I saw Connie in Beijing on one seminar. It was there I witness her big hug and warm-hearted smile. I saw people shaking her hands emotionally and even someone hugging her with tears of gratitude. For the first time in my life, I acted as a fan and ask for a picture with her and her e-mail address.
    This April I was so lucky and honored to be one of her students and personally experienced her class. The class soon became a big family in which we family members guided by Connie mom shared our reflections on life. In the class, there were laughs as well as tears; there were relaxed games as well as torturing three-minute impromptu speech in the class. The two day’s training is larger than two year’s experience, leaving valuable teaching methods, contents and life lessons for us to chew, digest and pass on to our students.
    And now my students have kept your saying in their heart: Wherever you are, be there! And I want to say: Wherever you are, I will always be your follower!”

  35. Connie Gibson December 28, 2012 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Dear Joyce, thank you for your kind words. I’m thrilled that you are enjoyed my teachers training class and were able to get much out of it to use for your students and your classes! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to Amy’s “The Messy Middle” I truly appreciate it and you! I hope to see you again, maybe next semester if I am able to return and teach another training class, which is my great desire… Connie Mom

  36. Kim January 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Hello Connie,
    This weekend I had a dream which reminded me of you.
    So of course I tried to look you up on line…
    How pleased I was to read your amazing love continues to spread around the world!
    You haven’t aged:)
    Thank you for providing a soft place to land during the rough years of high school.
    I appreciate the time and effort you would put into the Sunday get togethers at your Fremont home.
    I now work as an RN at the Mayo Clinic and have two boys of my own.
    I hope I can do as good of a job raising my boys as you did yours.
    You and your family are in my prayers.

    • Connie Gibson January 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Wow…. so good to hear from you Kim. It has been ages since I’ve seen or talked to you. If you have a Facebook account you should look me up there and also Michael. I know he’d love to get in touch with you. Congratulations on your two sons and your being an RN at the Mayo Clinic… that’s great. I find it so hard to believe that I’ve been gone from my 14 years of doing Sunday Night at Mom’s for almost as long… I’ve been in China now for 12.5 years and hoping to make it at least 13 years. What a joy of a life God has given me. I’d love to talk to you… check me out on FB… Love you Kim… Connie Mom

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