Wed, Nov 06, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Middle-aged single mom graduates from high school
年過半百讀高中 袁湘雲獲市長獎

Yuan Hsiang-yun holds two model student award certificates in Hsinchu in an undated photograph.
袁湘雲於新竹舉起兩張模範生獎狀,拍攝日期不詳。

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者洪美秀

For some, the slings and arrows of life’s misfortunes can prove to be too much: not so for 51-year-old Yuan Hsiang-yun. Determined not to let herself be defeated by life’s setbacks, Yuan graduated from Hsinchu Kuangfu High School’s Department of Further Education Beauty Treatment Class in June, then two months later obtained a level-two beautician license. As a young girl, Yuan was forced to quit school, and was sold off into child labor. Later, after getting married, Yuan became a victim of domestic violence and was left with no option but to file for a divorce and raise her children on her own, supporting them right up until her son graduated from National Taiwan University’s College of Law. Yuan was finally able to resume her studies at age 51, receiving top marks for her academic performance and conduct. Yuan took on many responsibilities while at school, including being a class monitor, and carried out all of her duties with enthusiasm, winning the affection of teachers and fellow students. On graduation, Yuan was bestowed with several awards which showed she was an exemplary pupil, including the Hsinchu mayor’s award and the school’s model student prize.

Yuan says that when she was five years old, her parents sold her to the Yuan family as an adopted daughter. Her stepmother abused her both physically and verbally. While at elementary school, Yuan was forced to carry out manual labor to supplement her new family’s income. Before graduating from junior high school, Yuan went to work at a factory. After marriage and giving birth to two children, Yuan suffered domestic violence at the hands of her husband. Almost losing the will to live, Yuan finally decided to get divorced and was forced to raise her son and daughter on her own.

Yuan’s children are now grown up, and both are now happily employed. Three years ago, under the encouragement of her children, Yuan enrolled at Hsinchu Kuangfu High School’s Department of Further Education Beauty Treatment Class. In each of the six semesters at the school, Yuan came top of her class and was also selected as the winner of an art and literature essay competition, came third in the school’s public speaking contest and received second prize in a hairdressing competition. While at school, Yuan also obtained a level-three hairdressing license.

On the day the examination results were released, Yuan says she cried her heart out and thanked her teachers for their support and guidance. Yuan hopes that her academic achievements late in life can serve as an inspiration to others to never give up and to always aim high.

(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)

一名五十一歲才就讀高中,不被命運打敗的堅強女性!新竹市私立光復高中袁湘雲,六月剛從光復高中進修部美容科畢業,八月考取美容乙級證照,她小時候被賣去當童工,後來婚姻期間又被家暴,只好離婚獨立扶養兒子至台大法律系畢業,五十一歲才回到校園求學,在校期間品學兼優、擔任班長等各種幹部、熱心班務、深受老師學生喜愛,畢業典禮時榮獲市長獎、模範生等殊榮,堪稱勵志典範。

袁湘雲說,她五歲時被父母賣到袁家做養女,養母對她虐待打罵不休,小學得做手工賺錢添補家用,國中還未畢業就到工廠當女工,結婚生子又經歷家暴,險些喪失性命最終選擇離婚收場,只好獨身帶一對子女辛苦養育。

如今兒女長大成人了,現已畢業就業中。三年前在兒女鼓勵下,她報名光復高中進修部美容科就讀。六學期都是班上第一名,文藝小品文徵選第一名,全校演講比賽第三名、美髮技藝第二名,也考上美髮丙級證照。

放榜當天,袁湘雲痛哭流涕,一直感謝老師的教導,希望將中年才讀高中及考證照的經驗,提供給力爭上游的朋友們。

(自由時報記者蔡彰盛)

This story has been viewed 4303 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top