Zhou Ting is a teenage girl in my class. She is very Chinese. Born of peasant parents, she symbolises a Chinese country girl. She does not wear any in hairstyle. Her hair is shoulder-length and tied in a ponytail.


What strikes me most is her shoes. You could never imagine that in today’s China, someone is still wearing those hand-made cloth and thread shoes. She is wearing such a pair of shoes. No shame, but pride in them. Probably her mom made them for her.


Her journal is kept neat and tidy. Each new entry is written on a new page. The handwriting is clean and in uniformity from beginning to end. The grammar is quite good. She is able to use a variety of vocabulary items. In all, she gives an attractive presentation on paper. My comment goes, “Reading your journal entry is a pleasure.” 




The latest entry in her journal is on her dad. Her family live in the mountains in Yunxi, a satellite county of Shiyan City. Life is hard, I daresay, but it is a loving family she comes from.


When she was very young, before she started school, her father taught her Tang-dynasty and Song-dynasty poems this way. Every morning, before they got up, the father helped her to recite and memorise a poem while both were still in bed, awake. What a warm scene! She said she enjoyed this learning very much all along. The only trouble was that their reciting was too loud and her mom was disturbed.


In her hometown, a lot of families favour boys over girls. Girls were not sent to school or they were forced to drop out. Boys were always given an education opportunity at any cost to the family. A lot of family friends and neighbours advised her father to take her back from school. However, her father did not agree. Her father said girls are important, too. Thanks to her father, she was able to attend primary school, middle school and finally made it to one of the key high schools in the city.


An incident in her schooling experience impressed her. There was a primary school in her village, but her dad thought that teaching there was not good enough and that the teachers were not qualified. The father took all the trouble to transfer her to a better CENTRAL primary school in their township a long way away from her village. Expenses at the new school were higher and the father would not mind them.


A lot of neighbours laughed at the father for his FOOLISH decision. “Why do you waste money over a girl?” they said.


The girl  realised the father was right when the primary school in her village was disbanded later on because of the low-quality teaching and of the dwindling number of students year by year brought about by the national family planning policy. She was proud of her father. Her father’s love and wisdom inspired her. That’s where she derives her motivation for learning.


The journal entry overflows with her gratitude towards her peasant father. “My father is a peasant, poorly educated but I love him. I will pursue academic excellence. I will honour my father by working hard. I will never disappoint you, my dear father.”


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. joan
    Apr 02, 2008 @ 06:35:31

    This story proved one sentence:"The kid of poor people takes charge of early".I envy her that she has a great father!She is a good student.Although her family seems not very well off ,I trust her!Come on,young girl,you wil have a bright future !Believe if yourself!


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