Since March, we had to leave the campus because of the epidemic. At first, I felt relaxed, but soon I was bored. I called my grandmother, Yaran Liu, who was far away in China, to talk about my lack of interest, and she told me her story.
“My dream was always to be a singer. In 1966, when I was a senior in high school, I took the interview for the Central Conservatory of Music, successfully passed the two rounds of tests, and got the conformity certificate. All I needed to do was pass the national college entrance examination. Starting in May, the Cultural Revolution broke out, and all colleges were closed. In those dark years, the Red Guards repudiated their teachers and principals as “stinking intellectuals” and pressed them into service as laborers. There was no hope of going to college, and I could not find any resources to study independently. The only books we could read were Chairman Mao’s quotations. When the college entrance examination resumed in 1977, I was already 30 years old. I was a music teacher in an elementary school, and your mother was just two. The busy work made me finally give up.”
“My college dream came true when I was nearly 50 years old. I was already gray-haired, with reading glasses. Every night, I sat under the lamp and opened the textbook; a sense of happiness came out. What great happiness it was to have the freedom and resources to learn knowledge! “
“There are always accidents in life that force you to leave campus, but learning should never be stopped. Learning is not for the scores on the transcript, but for yourself. Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.”
Submitted by Alyssa Wu, Alameda County – Pleasanton.