Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Frightening Experience

      For a journal entry prompt during the week of Halloween I asked my students to write about the most frightening experience
they had encountered thus far. I have been shocked to read about so many kidnappings, attempted kidnappings and home 
invasions. These kids have seen a lot of things I've only seen in headlines.
But there was one entry that really caught me by surprise. I'll let 'William' tell you his most frightening experience:    
      Encountering a ghost is very frightening, but for Chinese students, there's something much much more frightening....failing the
University Entrance Examination!
      "Try your best to get good grades," said our teachers, "As long as you still breathe, study!"  Preparing for the exam is worrying, but
waiting for the result is even more stressful. You apply for a university according to your grades, and then wait. It's a gamble - you
have to take a chance.
       This is what I have experienced.
       One day after the exam, I got back home, and my father urged me to phone the Education Bureau. Being nervous and unwilling,
I went to the phone an dialed the number which I had already dialed so many times and thus bore in mind. The girl on the other end
asked me to input my student number. I did as she said, and then waited, holding my breath.
       About ten seconds later, she answered, "Sorry, we cannot find your material or you are not admitted my any university."
        I didn't hear what she said next. My heart beat very fast and my head was aching. There were noises in my ears and I couldn't
see anything clearly. Holding the phone silently, I looked at my parents helpless.
       Mother saw my expression and then began to weep. Father sighed and cursed me as "an idiot" and "a psycho" complaining
that I had broken their hearts.
       I was so frustrated, but I couldn't believe it. I couldn't figure out why "God hast forsaken me" since I had tried my best.
With tears running out, I dialed the number again. When I started to input my student number the second time, I remembered
I hadn't put a "#" before it. I did it correctly this time, and then I got another answer, "Shandong University. Congratulations!"
       With a calm voice, I said, "I'm admitted."
       They stopped complaining immediately and began to praise me as "excellent boy" and "You've glorified our ancestors," said my
father. Now I cannot help imagining  what if I had not been admitted. Such are Chinese parents! If you didn't get a good grade,
you were not their child!  The most frightening experience is cause by the most frightening people, and Chinese parents
are the most frightening ones in the world!

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