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荷叶塘

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Gone Are the Days When I Could Count on Other People  

2016-04-03 10:46:28|  分类: familiar prose? |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Gone
Are the Days When I Could Count on Other People
 

---The
differences between my university and high school

 

I’ve been thinking
about my high school and university days and suspected it would be rather
different from other contemporary students not to say the students today.

When I was little, I
used to play “different” to demonstrate my special existence. I can recall now
what a nuisance I was to all the teachers and both my parents. I used to be a
headache to my physics teacher who had taught my excellent elder sister and brother
and had counted on me so much. I used to organize a strike in my class and led
most of the girls to a town for a visit in response to the resistance against
the extra fees the school had asked us to hand in. And I learned for the first
time to cheat in the history exam and irritated the teacher tremendously who
found later that I got the highest mark and helped my desk mate, the second,
to make both of us the only to pass the exam. Those were my junior high school
days.

I got extremely fat
later on, but I didn’t get any wiser. First I quarreled with my mother every
time when we were together, her blaming me being lazy and fat and me blaming
her unfair and cruel. Then I was caught red-handed TWICE by the Head Teacher
reading extracurricular books, first Kung fu, then romance. The Head Teacher
punished me by burning all the series in front of the class imitating the
famous event in the history of Qin Dynasty. It made me so famous that the
second year when the second Head Teacher caught me reading a magazine in class
he said, with an attitude of much understanding, “I wondered,… No wonder…” With
the “help” of the teachers, I have rarely read any Kung fu or romance since
then, but turned, with much more caution, to the world’s classics, such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc., of which I never admitted
guilty.

I was so different
then, but I tried hard to be “unique”. For the first few terms, I sat in the
back of the classroom, where “bad students should be located”. I admired their
different interests in, talents on and enthusiasms for musical instruments, song-composing,
novel-writing, glove-knitting, and everything, and tried to pretend to ignore
the teachers’ classes and to be indifferent to the teachers’ disappointment. I
made similar pieces of paper and wrote all the math formula equations on them
so that my classmates could get help from my message when doing exam papers. We
were so good at cheating and so smooth in cooperation that our teachers could
do nothing but let us be. For the later terms, since most of us realized the
importance of the Entrance Examinations and the limitation of the time, we
studied very hard. A lot of my classmates asked me lots of questions, I never
hesitated to answer. Many close friends warned me of the waste of time and
energy and many more complained of our noise made in communication, but I never
felt it a problem.
 

But finally, I come to
college! And it is Hunan Normal University! Everything is different. All of my
former relationships are gone, my parents, teachers, especially my friends. My
performances have nothing to do with anybody else now, but me myself. I didn’t
realize it until I got my first year scores. And I find that I am almost the
worst in our major in our grade. Unfortunately, however, I cannot find more
time to catch up with others since I have to find as many part-time jobs as
possible to try to support myself.

I spent another year
making my plans and finally formed my theory. I tried to sell world’s classical
novels, which should have been successful because of my abundant readings, but
I always put away some favorite books. I tried to sell stationery and notebooks
but I really needed them too in my daily life. I tried to promote products but
it is really a waste of time with little rewards. And I tried to intermediate
for tutors and students, but in the end the student didn’t like the tutor and
wanted me to teach him English myself…Then I realized only being a English
Tutor could be the best solution. Luckily enough, I was able to arrange the
jobs during the weekends and earned the money I needed to make all ends meet.
 

I didn’t have many
plans for my study then since I didn’t have much time and I felt I was bad at
every subject especially English. I could only focus on English itself, and I
tried to improve my English, besides class learning, all-round and from every
possible angle I could think of. I spent a whole term studying high school
grammar and all the rest terms memorizing new words and usages. I listened to
VOA every evening. I bought China Daily once a week and examined the contents
rather closely. I read Chicken Soup Series. I wrote English diaries, I went to
the English Corner twice or three times a week. I watched English movies….You
may wonder: did you ever have fun during university? Of course I had. My fun
was watching the Oscar movies, listening to English songs and reading English
prose and speaking to myself in English before sleep. And I had a few friends
then who shared one or two of my interests too, of course. Mostly, however, we
didn’t cling to each other. We did things alone. Loneliness never occurred to
me, though. I was busy tutoring, studying, or just wandering on campus and
along roads at the foot of Yuelu Mountains.


I was also wondering
then, why must I fight so hard? Nobody asked me to, especially after I became
an honorable university student. The truth is that, after so many years of learning
and working, we have a much higher mountain top to conquer behind this one but
we have to treat this one seriously so that we do not fail to see the other.
And along the road, nobody can accompany us forever. What we can count on is
only ourselves.

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