UNCLE LEI FENG

UNCLE LEI FENG

Shengliver’s Note: This entry is almost a decade old.

 

This week’s entry does not feature Uncle Lei Feng. It features a boy called Wang Peng. Wang Peng is one of the lovely teens in one of my classes. A boarder, he visits his family back in Yunxian once or twice a term. His parents are peasants. They support two high schoolers, his elder brother and him. His brother, a student at the county high school, is not very academic.

 

APPLE WASHING

 

Towards the end of 2008, his class held a party to welcome the New Year in the classroom. Organising a party like this takes time and planning. The student leaders did the planning and shopping. They bought the decorations and refreshments like colour paper chains, sweets and fruits.

 

What Mr Wang Peng did for the party struck one of his girl classmates. I, together with his classmates, learned about his deed through a girl talker, Miss Zhu Jing. The girl told the class that while most of the boys and girls were chatting and bantering in the classroom that evening, Mr Wang Peng was washing the apples for the party in the washroom. It was deep winter and the tap water was freezing. No one helped Mr Wang but he did not complain about it. He was there washing the apples and then drying them up one by one. After the talker finished, I turned to Mr Wang Peng for confirmation. He said humbly that it was nothing and that helping with the party was everyone’s duty.

 

AN ACTIVITY

 

March 5 in the Chinese calendar is marked as “Day of Learning from Uncle Lei Feng”. On the day or some other day in March Chinese schools organise an activity to celebrate Uncle Lei Feng. Mr Wang recorded in the journal the activity that his class engaged in last Sunday morning for this purpose.

 

We first gathered at 11.00 in the classroom and then we set out on the mission. Our job was to clean the pavement along Beijing Road from the school gate to the City Sports Centre. John, our president, was the director.

There was not much work to do in fact. We were meant to pick up litter on the pavement as we strolled along. It was clear that some of my classmates came over for something else. They were laughing and chatting and flirting all the way. They did not bother to bend and do the job.

What angered me most was that when we reached the Sports Centre, John, with a digital camera, started to take some snapshots of us collecting bits and pieces for the occasion. I reckoned the photos would be used for some exhibitions later on to showcase our activity and to earn credits for our class. And our president, John, joined those merrymaking students in laughing and playing. Their attitude was nasty.

The whole affair did not last long. It came to an end around 11.20. Some students came back to the school. Some went shopping. Some went for a meal in a nearby restaurant.

I did not like this activity because many of my classmates were flippant about it. Uncle Lei Feng is a role model to us Chinese. We should have had a proper attitude towards what we did. Only in that way could we have shown our respect for the uncle. What a shame! In the future, if our class plan to do something, we must carry it out wholeheartedly. If some guys do not want to do it, we should not start in the first place, or we should leave them out.

 

Is Mr Wang Peng a gentleman, my reader? Is he a Lei Feng? Will he make one? Definitely!

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