dong dong

Dear Dong Dong,

 

Judging from what you are doing at university, I dare say a Chinese philosopher is in the making in Wuda.

 

University differs very much from high school. High school is a prison, many might say, while university is a limitless pasture, where plenty of fodder and space allows the cattle to roam anywhere they desire. High school students, watched over day and night by the prison guards, lose their freedom and their only duty is to do homework and homework and homework, which hopefully contributes, at the end of the three years, to a high score in the matriculation test, which is their sole pass to the ivory tower. Once they make it to the tower, the newly-gained freedom confuses the cattle, who have for long been used to life in confinement. Some cattle have no idea what to do with this freedom. Some, under the spell of various distractions, go astray. They may stay in cybercafés day and night or hang around with their girl or boy friend, oblivious of whatever is going on in the world.

 

You are different, Dong Dong. A long-time bookworm, you will find pleasure in the university library. Of course, you will do your courses and pass the exams. But reading and thinking all through the four years will make Dong Dong a sophisticated and full man. Make up a reading plan and follow through with it.

 

This education system has its advantages, of course. But its disadvantages are too big to ignore. As you point out, critical thinking is lost – the ability to think on one’s own and to come to one’s own judgement. Reflect upon your own high school experience and you will see clearly why and how this ability is lost through the process of doing one exam after another in pursuit of a higher and perfect score.

 

I have been working in the classroom for all these years. I am keenly aware of these CHINESE-characteristic problems. I cannot make big decisions but I have been trying my best to make a difference, to put a little bit of something different into this boring and mind-numbing existence.

 

I didn’t receive this mail of yours the day you sent it, for I seldom use my QQ messenger. Only this evening when I turned my QQ on did I find it in the QQ mailbox. In future, please write to my more frequently used mail address – shengliver@163.com. Thanks for writing.

 

My blog is growing fast. If you please, log on and read the entries. This is the link in case you have lost it.

 

http://shengliver.spaces.live.com/

 

And this letter will be the latest entry there. Good luck over there and do not eat hot and dry noodles for every breakfast. The food tastes horrible.

 

Best wishes,

 

Yours,

Shengliver

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