Shengliver’s Note: Are opportunities for those who are ready?


We are told to work hard and not to complain about a lack of opportunities. We are brought up to believe that if we work hard and get prepared, once an opportunity arises, it will be ours.


A Chinese teenager, Miss Zhou Ting, does not agree. This is what she writes in the journal.


I have realised that opportunities are not necessarily for those who are ready. My recent experiences in class prove it.


After we got the main idea of the text titled “Zhongguancun”, our teacher Shengliver set us a task. He asked us to read each paragraph carefully again and to come up with a question the paragraph answers. We ended up with an outline of the text, which comprised the number of questions we had got for the paragraphs. After that, he asked us to collaborate with our partner and to retell the text by answering the questions listed in the outline.


I found it was a very helpful activity. It was not boring. The text came to life when I was retelling it. I did not need to use exactly the same words or sentences from the text but words flowed out of my mouth all the while. I practised very hard and it was the first text I thought I had processed so well. I decided that I would show myself to the class when there was an opportunity.


In the English lesson the following three days, after our daily small talk, Shengliver gave an opportunity for one student to go up to the podium and retell the text to the class using the questions on the chalkboard as an aid.


On the first day, I was busy with my maths homework before the English lesson. When the time came for a student to go up, I realised that I was not mentally prepared for it. I found myself a bit hesitating although I knew I had practised well enough in the self-study period before the breakfast break. While I was wondering whether to go or not, a boy went up and started talking.


So I determined to grasp the opportunity the next day. My partner Miss Gao Shuan seemed to read my mind and she gave me a lot of encouragement. She knew I could do it well. On the second day, when my teacher asked, “Who is ready to do the retelling?” Miss Gao nudged me, encouraging me to go ahead. At the last moment, however, I found myself a little diffident and indecisive. Before I knew it, the opportunity was seized by one of my girl classmates, Miss Shi.


After class, I regretted losing the opportunity twice. I told myself that to improve myself I would have to overcome my weakness. “Tomorrow, I will get it no matter what,” I decided.


The lesson followed the same routine on the third day, the small talk first and the retelling next. I got myself ready to go up and do it. Just as the small talker was walking off the podium, and the teacher was saying, “Time for …” a boy, Mr She, rushed up and started talking.


I lost the last opportunity.


Are opportunities for those who are ready? My story shows clearly that even when I was ready, I failed to get the opportunity. I lacked confidence and quick action. My indecisiveness cost me all the three chances.


To get an opportunity, reach out and grab it.



What question does the paragraph answer?



What is Zhongguancun?

centre for science and technology; home to


How did Zhongguancun get started?

1980s; Chen Chunxian; special economic zone; 1990s


Is the science park home to overseas Chinese?

 a growing number of overseas Chinese


Why did Yufang choose Zhongguancun?

studied overseas; not comfy there


Who helped Yufang come back?

friends from his university


Was Yufang happy to be back home?

dream come true


Is Yufang doing well now?

doing well; run a company


What effect has Zhongguancun had on science and business?

0ver 8,000 hi-tech companies; half IT; two mottos


What does failure mean to the researchers and scientists in Zhongguancun?

deal with and learn from failure


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