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The newest and most beautiful words and pictures can be painted on it
Yes, I still remember this one. it reminds me the time when I was in elementary school, the time Mao Zedong was still alive. |
I grew up in a city in NE China by gulf of Bohai, My parants both worked for a state owned company, actually a big manufacturer. The pictures of 1970s still in my mind are the hugh chimneys, smoke, horn from locamotives, smell of chemicals, the beautiful lights from the steel mills at night.
Life was hard, I was the youngest son in the family, my brother and sister were both in high school, we grew up very quickly and needed neutrition. My brother, a teenager, I called him power pole, more than 1.80m tall but two long and slim legs, looked funny. My Mam worried about us but she had nothing but some corn buns, and very little meat and fish. Life was full of happyness as well, because we were healthy and full of hope.
China was still in Culture Revolution, the university educated were still "Chou Lao Jiu" by political slogan, but I didn't feel that way. My Dad was a shop manager in the company, many university educated worked in the shop as roughneck workers. They were my Dad's good friends. My Dad sometimes invited them to have a drink in my home, they drank, laughed, cried, talked something I didn't understand. My Dad told me--they are good men, and smart. Sooner or later, they will be utilized by the country because they are engineers. Well, engineer, a big word in my heart.
Many years later, when I became a young man, I asked my Dad, why he had so much engineer friends. My Dad told me, he had very little education when he was young, so he admired those university educated even they were treated as nobody by the time.
When I realized what engineer mean, was the time when I was in high school. The time just after Culture Revolution, the school were short of qualified teachers. Then, the company sent many engineers to teach the kids math, physics, chemistry, biology, English.....Some of them were my Dad's friends.
We worked very hard, 7:30am to 5:30pm, then 7:00pm to 9:00pm, then home work until after 10:00pm---nobody told us to do so, but we did it, everyday, everymonth, every year. No holidays, no vacations. Now, when I think about why we worked so hard, I can remember that some great power was in my mind----I have the responsibility to do something for my country. Who taught me this? No one taught me by talks, but by actions.
When I received my letter from the university, 3 of my teachers were in hospital. That was why I wrote on my university application form with all kind of XX engineering and XX engineering---most of my teachers were engineers, the engineers who moved a teenagers heart.
I didn't quite understand why my teachers spent so much energy on us without any extra paid, almost killed themselves by the heavy work--nobody asked them to do so. But when I grow up, I realized, when they were young, they didn't have a chance to do what they were willing to do for the country, it was their last chance when they were assigned as school teachers... One of my teachers died when I was in university, she was not even 50 years old, an intellegent, happy, and pretty lady......I still remember her beautiful smile.
A special friend in my life was my Yu Wen (Chinese) teacher. He had no university education--the year when he supposedly entering college, culture revolution happened. He was just married, lived in a very small apartment, dark and cold, a small fire place was in the middle of the small apartment. We had many long conversations in his little home almost every weekend, we talked about Li Bai, Qu Yuan, Shi Jing, Mu Dan Ting, Su Shi, Zhu Xi, Lu Xun, Qu Qiu Bai, Zhu Zi Qing, Qian Zhong Shu.....It was the time we were not student and teacher, we were friends--a teenager who started to know the world and a young man, skinny, short, red faced, bright eyes, deep voiced.... Now, my teacher is no longer a young man, he is the principal of a senoir high school, but he is still full of energy, still bright eyes...I don't know if he still invite his students to his home, but I do miss the time when we talk by the small fire place in his small home--we were poor, but we were full of hope and energy.