徘徊於理性與現實的曠野裏, 生存於東方與西方的交界麵。

My high school experience

(2005-05-19 08:33:20) 下一個

The youth of my generations was squandered during the unprecedented, tumultuous cultural revolution, when infighting overshadowed trust, cheating preceded honest, jealousy came ahead of decency, and high academic scorer equaled to “white expert”. Although I always had good marks for all subjects during my secondary/high school years, I was somehow disliked by some of my classmates, who happened to be my class monitor or youth league secretary, but with lower academic scores. I had to admit that I was not good at making stories to please one’s superiors, and that some of my classmates were absolutely genius in this regard. For one reason or another, I was often labeled as “capitalist roader”, while they were considered as revolutionary pioneers. However, one thing I found hard to understand was that even in Politics exams, a capitalist roader always got higher marks than revolutionary pioneers.

One consequence of this twisted reality was that there was no one you could truly rely upon. I remember one fellow student, who I had considered as a good friend of mine. One day I mentioned to him what I felt about a couple of youth league members in our class. To my disgust, this guy told everything I said for his benefit and/or favor the very next day, and I was questioned by these people straight afterwards. What a way to treat one’s friend?! I could still recall that many of my class mates with lesser academic ability were able to join the youth league, but I was constantly denied. To add salt to injury, even my neighbor's son who had quite poor scores every time became a youth league member! I could imagine what/how they had felt when they learned a few years later that I got into university, and then obtained a scholarship to study overseas without their "help", and that they had to labor in a fertilizer factory, which they could not even keep due to factory closure in recent years. Alas, my fate has gone utterly out of their grasps.

In principle, I do concur that human nature is generally kind, cooperative and helpful. But the times my generation had been through when young were extraordinary ones, and human behaviors could go beyond what one would normally expect under the circumstances. In those years, if you could find someone who spoke unkind words about leaders, and then report it to your superiors, you would be rewarded with high positions and other glorious/material things. Similarly, if you could identify or pinpoint someone as capitalist roader among your peers, your revolutionary conscience was clearly above all others. Indeed, there was so much temptation out there, you would be inhuman at all if you did not do it.

For sure, this kind of "strange behaviors" was hard to fathom, but it did not mean that it was non-existent. On the contrary, I am a very optimistic person with positive thinking, which has helped me getting this far. And now I am taking the opportunity to put it down episode by episode, so that it will become the source materials for my more elaborative documentation in future.

Under the guidance of my capable Chinese language teacher, I developed an intense interest in Chinese classics. I particularly admired the innovative ways some Chinese classics employed to make those seemingly ordinary words into extraordinary and memorable paragraphs and scenes.

I began to collect examples of well-written paragraphs/scenes, and classify them into different categories, such as those related to sky, weathers, mountains, trees, water, animals, human emotions and facing expressions. Sometimes, when I read a book, I would go through it fairly quickly, and mark the paragraphs which I liked to copy into my notebook. In a way, I was more interested in those paragraphs than the actual stories. With everything in a handy notebook, I found them very useful when I needed to write an essay. By looking how others describe the scenes I intended to include in my essay, everything appeared too easy. Sometimes, my classmates would ask me to add some colors or flesh into their essays, I would simply write a paragraph or two in their essays in the forms of weather, or mountain/river descriptions, which they often liked too. For writing persuasion-type essays, I learned from my high school teacher to organize in three parts: the first contained some examples of ancient history; the second included some examples of modern history; and the third described what you would like say.

As after-school activities, I would write essays on various topics, such as four seasons, months of a year and so on. By first describing the key features of each season/month, and how other people had done them, followed by criss-crossing with stages of human development, it was relatively straightforward to prepare a decent essay. Later on, I also learned to compose old-style poems, such as "Xijianyue", "Nianlujiao" and "Qinyuanchun" myself, after my high school teacher introduced us the concept of "pingzhe" and the useful song of "Tian dui di, yu dui feng, dalu dui changkong". In addition, under his influence, I began to make pearl-tree seals in the style of "Zhuangti".

Another activity that interested me was carpentry, as my neighbor was an accomplished carpenter. By watching and imitating, I made a few furniture pieces such as dinning tables, bedsite cabinets and clothes cabinets. Had I not got into college, I was sure I would become a not-too-bad carpenter and make a good living out of this profession.
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紅小兵 回複 悄悄話 many words I have to look up dictionary to understand. (I didn't though)

One's decision making is very complicated process (especially woman:) This story makes me remember the days in elementory school, 3rd or 4th grade. A good friend of mine braged herself for something. It wasn't true and couldn't be true of course I don't have any prove. I met our teacher in the hallway one day, we were walking together to classroom, and I don't know why I started telling the teacher. Maybe I wanted the teacher know how good my judgement was. Maybe I jealous of something. no idea. I was rather quiet kid. Don't know why I did something like that. I often remember it and feel guity.

I am not trying to say anything. I try not to use my already aging brain. just the old days comes from no where so I typed.