Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"It is a fine world and worth our fighting for."

When we were first contemplating the adventure to teach English in China, we talked to previous China English teachers. Often we were assured that teaching English would be easy because the students' English was so poor. mmmm...not so much, anymore. Sure, I'm encountering lots of room for improvement, but I'm coming across more and more students like the Junior level student who wrote this entry for his journal assignment:

     "Why am I happy? It is about an encounter with an excellent teacher who teaches American Literature. I was searching the Internet last night and happened to find that one of the teachers in Shandong University is an expert in Emily Dickinson's poems. Dickinson is my favorite poet but there are few scholars who study her in China. So, I feel I am a lucky guy to meet one. Being very excited, I sent her an email and expressed my admiration  to her, asking for her reply politely. I was in such excitement that I even shook with emotion and burst into tears. It's really like the situation when fans meet their superstar.     
"Inevitably, life is constituted with weeping and smiling, and the former one occupies a larger part, But just as Ernest Hemingway put it, 'It is a fine world and worth our fighting for:'  I am prepared to struggle and fight for the smiling part.     
"Yesterday evening, when I was reciting English words, a girl come up to me. From her nervous and worried countenance i could tell she was rather upset.     
"She told me she was preparing for the post-graduate school entrance exam but was having some trouble with English. Knowing little about her exam, I could only tell her to relax for a short time.     
"Maybe you're just being too nervous," I told her. "Why not read some books about philosophy to develop your mind?" On hearing my words, her expression was beyond description.      
"You know what?" she almost shouted. "My major is just philosophy! I read Kant every day!"      
"Really?" I seldom met a girl who majored in philosophy. "That's really cool! I have interest in only two subjects: literature and philosophy."     
"Who do you read?" she asked in surprise.    
"Schopenhauer is my favorite. I also read Hietzsche, the school of Miletus, and..."     
"You know the Miletus?"     
"Yeah, Thales!"     
"Ah, Thales! How learned you are!"  I felt really flattered. That feeling was really fantastic. But I knew that was nothing important. Reading a lot of books is amazing. Yet bring out one's own idea is truly invaluable."

Watch out world. They're coming. Strong & ready.

1 comment:

  1. I've been quite convinced that China is the country of the future. They understand the importance of a good education.