why learn?

Dear Mr. Liu and Mr. Xuan,


Thank you, guys, for your encouragement. I have confidence in myself now. But my plan probably is not to go abroad or to be a rich businessman. You will see one day what it is.


Actually earlier this year I rejected an opportunity to go and study in London for about 3 months. It was a project between the English Coaching Paper (a language teaching paper from Jilin) and the Chinese Ministry of Education. Most of the living expenses were covered including those of accommodation and meals. But a candidate had to go through the bureaucratic procedures (lots of forms to fill in) and worse still he had to pay 50,000 yuan as a guarantee that he should come back to China at the end of the project. I was fed up with it all. I said no to the offer from the city education bureau.


Being able to go to the UK would be an excellent chance to learn. But with today’s technology it is cheap and efficient to learn at home. It’s just like working and living in London. That’s why I said to the MAD teacher, "I have been working in London for three years." Check out the tense. What tense is it?


Learning at home is far better than going out there for me at present. A lot of Chinese teachers of English went out and came back, ending up with English as horrible as before. What is the purpose of going there? I will venture out one day when my yinzi (silver) is overflowing from my wallet. Haha.


My confidence has been enhanced by some distinguished net pals. The best epal is a HK-based businessman. Chinese he is of course. He told me that he was educated in the UK. He is currently working in Shenzhen but his family are in Hong Kong. Probably he shuttles between the two cities. One day he told me, "Shengliver, you are better than some Hong Kong teachers." The other day, he said, "Shengliver, I have chatted with a lot of Chinese teachers of English on line. You carry the most weight." A Chinese gentleman, a Mr. Liu, who is running his firm in London actually, complimented me the same way. I joked one day, “I wish to meet you if I go there one day.” He responded, “Shengliver, it would be my honour to go and pick you up at the dock.”


The Chinese schools are riddled with problems, especially high schools. Spoon feeding and cramming are prevalent. Worse still some leaders are not clear where the school should be going, what we should expect the students to be, and what guidelines we should follow in the education practice. Individuality is being lost. Conformity to rigid rules (some are foolish) is enforced. If the students have no right and freedom to think and learn on their own, if they become someone’s tools in his/her attempt to climb higher in his/her political ambition, what do you think the students will be in the end?


I am grateful for your concern and your encouragement makes my endeavour more daring and better motivated. When Mr. Xuan comes back, I still hope he gives a lesson to my students. I have told my present students about him. The students he talked with are all in university now.


Best wishes to you,





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