Miss Wang Lu is one of my student assistants, responsible and caring. Collecting the assignments and shuffling between the classroom and my office never tires her. Once I asked her to hand out some printed exercises to the students. She took the trouble to put the sheets into different shares. Each student received a share of ten sheets at a time instead of being given one sheet ten times. It took her over 20 minutes but her job saved her classmates each 20 minutes. Very boring work but she took it seriously.


She was born in a county town called Zhuxi, where there are plenty of mountains and forests. The county borders Chongqing on the west. It takes her hours to travel by bus between her hometown and the school. So she does not go home very often.




Miss Wang has a cousin, her uncle’s son. This cousin of hers is a problem child. Showing no interest in school, the boy ran away from home a lot of times, without telling the parents.


Last semester, the boy left his home again this way. The parents searched for him all over the town and he was nowhere to be found. Later the parents found his diary at home and from the diary they learned that the boy had travelled with his gang pals to the city. The uncle and aunt asked Miss Wang whether she had seen the cousin in the city.


Miss Wang was worried about her cousin. Yet she could not help at all. “My cousin has behaved in this manner many times. He has broken my uncle’s and my aunt’s hearts,” she wrote.




This uncle is Miss Wang’s mother’s younger brother. Tragedy struck him.


It happened when Miss Wang was in middle school back in her home county town. One day her aunt, the uncle’s wife, came to her home, panic-stricken. She came to break some bad news. Her husband had been missing for two days. A search party was organised to look for any trace of him but the effort was in vain.


Miss Wang’s mum was worried about her brother. “Where is he?” all the family asked.


Miss Wang Lu said that her uncle used to be a teacher in middle school. He was a talented writer and wrote a lot of goof essays. Later he gave up his teaching position and went to work with the government.


While the uncle was working in the government, he developed a condition – depression. Insomnia tortured him. He started to be missing from his home from time to time.


Did the uncle come back this time? Never. About ten days later, his body was found in a river close to the town. It had started to decompose by the time it was located.


The tragedy weighed Miss Wang’s mum down into low spirits. When the uncle was a boy, Miss Wang’s mum adored him very much. Well Miss Wang’s mum cried sadly over the loss.




Depression has been established as a widespread mental condition around the world. I referred to some reference tools and found some bits of important details about it.


Depression is marked by long periods of melancholy. And people who suffer from it also show some physiological symptoms. They lose their appetite and are tortured by insomnia in most cases. They lose interest in people and things around them.


It used to be thought that depression was caused by psychological problems only. However, later scientific research has found out that its cause is more complicated than that. Some cases are triggered by psychological problems. Some are caused by some abnormal structure of the human brain itself. Some are actually written in the genes of the sufferer. It has been proved that some families have members from different generations with this condition. Still some cases are caused by a combination of all or some of the factors.


Modern urban life is fast-paced and people are under greater pressure than before. Learning how to cope with fast-paced life and stressful patterns of existence is the key to an urbanite’s success and happiness.




At the end of Miss Wang’s journal entry about her uncle, she came to a conclusion that nothing counts more than life itself. “Nothing will take away my happiness. I know why I live in this world. And I will stay optimistic no matter what,” the teenager announced.


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