She was only a last-class citizen when she was a lecturer in a double-class A+ discipline.

One day in 2019, late at night in the circle of friends to see a paragraph of Lin Yue text: “people to middle age, there is no way back, and no way forward. It’s too hard to stop and move forward …….” Shortly afterwards, this text was deleted by her again.

The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to its customers. When I called her to ask her about it, she said it wasn’t because of the title thing.

Lin Yue and I are graduate students and have been friends for many years. We have a similar life trajectory: we are from a small city, from ordinary origins, the first half of life are trying to study, when others can spell dad spell mother, we can only step by step to fight.

I don’t get married, I don’t have children, and I don’t bother to participate in many of the joys and sorrows of the human world, while Lin Yue works, studies, gets married, has children, and becomes the envy of outsiders as a university teacher.


In 2007, after graduating from graduate school, Lin Yue joined the X College of a 211 university to do administrative work. Although her college was a small college of the university, it could bring a good profit for the university by hosting adult college entrance examination and training. The big river is full of small rivers, and the teachers of the college are naturally treated well. The same period into the school, went to other faculties of colleagues are envious of Lin Yue, she also felt quite satisfied.

Five years have passed, and colleagues who entered the school at the same time have either been transferred to teaching posts through doctoral studies, or transferred to major departments of the university to prepare for promotion. Lin Yue had no background, and felt that she could not go through the administrative path, so she could only go through the path of full-time teachers. So, she did her best to get a Ph.

After graduating in 2017, Lin Yue returned to College X and was transferred to a teaching position as she wished, but this did not make her happy.

First of all, the college did not have her major, and she could not find a sense of belonging because her major did not match her. Colleagues in similar situations have made the transition – dropping their master’s and doctoral degrees and starting from scratch. Lin Yue also tried to make such an effort, but it was very difficult to shift her academic interests and the transition was painful.

Moreover, there is little research atmosphere in the college, and 2/3 of the faculty here are family members of faculty members, living gags until retirement. The environment of boiling frogs in warm water made the few young faculty members’ will sink.

In the fall of that year, as the university entered the ranks of the “double first-class”, the development orientation quickly shifted from “economic gains” to “scientific research”. In this context, College X was gradually marginalized, at first by the university’s withdrawal of financial autonomy, then by the suspension of undergraduate enrollment, and by rumors that it would be merged with another college. The old teachers who were close to retirement did not have to worry, but the young teachers who had a way out left the college, and Lin Yue began to feel all sorts of things.

In early 2018, when she heard that one of the A+ disciplines in Y College was recruiting, Lin Yue submitted a transfer application. Because her major fit with College Y and she had some previous research results, she was quickly approved by College Y to become a lecturer in the A+ discipline.

When she resigned from the leadership of College X, the leadership advised Lin Yue not to go: “Y College has complicated interpersonal relationships, and her life may not be more comfortable than here.” Lin Yue had heard about this before, but she couldn’t care less. Instead of being immortal here, she should take the initiative to jump out of her comfort zone and wait for her rebirth.

This year, Lin Yue was 36 years old, her child had just started kindergarten, and her husband was very supportive of her changing colleges, exclaiming, “I’m happy for you, after all these years, you’ve finally found an organization.”


College Y and College X were only ten steps apart, but the atmosphere was two different. Entering the gate of Y College, a row of display cabinets stand out, which are full of the achievements of the teachers of this college. There were a lot of big names here, and there were many new academic talents like nebulae. Lin Yue felt both happy and nervous, happy because she was about to become a colleague with an admired academic bull, nervous because she was still a lecturer and worried that she would be looked down upon.

Before she could feel the strong academic atmosphere, she received an assignment from the college – to take her senior students to an internship in a Tibetan area thousands of miles away in the summer. Lin Yue immediately packed her bags and led 12 students to leave. Because it was the first time she took students to do research, Lin Yue was careful in every way and always paid attention to the students’ movements, doing her best to guide them in writing their internship reports while ensuring their basic personal safety, food and accommodation.

She was accompanied by a senior female professor, a little older than Lin Yue. The professor was very strict, did not smile, and seldom communicated with Lin Yue, and the students did not dare to make any mistake in front of her. Most of the time, it was the female professor who was instructing the students, and Lin Yue followed suit. After a few days, the female professor left first, and the students were relieved and complained that the female professor was too strict, but said that Lin Yue was “very gentle and nice”, and they all liked her very much. After returning from the Tibetan area, Lin Yue continued to guide them to complete their thesis.

I thought this research team had no credit but also hard work, but not long after, when Lin Yue wanted to apply again to take students to internship, the college leadership did not agree, because “some students reflected that Lin Yue in the research team had some problems. What is the specific problem, the college leadership did not elaborate. Lin Yue was shocked, thinking back on the whole process of leading the team, he was at best unskilled, far from “some problems”. But the seeds of mistrust had been planted, and Lin Yue lost her second chance to lead the internship.

Who actually reflected this? What was reflected? This matter is still a mystery, Lin Yue thinking about it. This incident also made Lin Yue realize that she might not have a good time at Y Academy next.

Afterwards, Lin Yue was assigned to take over a classroom teacher position for a graduate student. Her first job was to “select outstanding class leaders”. At that time, the school gave a policy that the “excellent cadres” selected by the class could be promoted to the school or even the province for the selection of “excellent cadres” – once they won the title of “excellent cadres” at the school or provincial level The title of “Outstanding” meant that the future was much brighter. There are five class members in the class, and two of the five are elected. thinking that it would be easy, Lin Yue decided to vote on the election after consulting with her classmates.

In the end, the two students with the highest votes were listed as the “excellent” candidates of this year’s class. In the process of reporting to the college for review, some students in the class objected to one of the class members named Yang Tao, saying that the student was inconsistent, not active in the class work, and had a utilitarian attitude towards people and things.

Lin Yue did not dare to draw a conclusion easily, and got some more students to understand the situation. The students’ opinions about Yang Tao were mixed, some said she was enthusiastic and righteous, while others said she was a utilitarian. Lin Yue wondered why her votes were so high when more than half of them thought Yang Tao had problems. One of the class members said, “It’s because Yang Tao visited every classmate one by one with fruits a few days before the vote, and even invited some students to dinner in private to canvass for herself, so the unknown people naturally voted for her.

After repeated discussions with the class committee and its key classmates, we unanimously voted that Yang Tao should not be elected as the “superior stem” and instead elected the classmate who ranked third in the previous voting. In order to be responsible for Yang Tao, Lin Yue also approached her alone and explained the situation to her, telling her not to be discouraged and to keep up the good work. Yang Tao listened and nodded her head on the spot to express her approval.

The same night at 11:00, Yang Tao sent a large paragraph of heated messages, angry questioning why the voting results do not count, threatening to find the people who said bad things about her face to face confrontation, “I have already studied three years, will soon graduate, if because of the class teacher you listen to slanderous words, to make an unfair judgment, then will ruin my life later!

Lin Yue tensed up, worried that she had really misjudged and worried that Yang Tao had acted too aggressively because of it. She felt the need to go back to the college to explain the situation. To her surprise, the college leaders approached her first the next morning and told her that the college had made the decision to “re-vote the election on the grounds of ‘disputed ballot results’.”

On the day of the re-vote, a dramatic scene happened – the two students who had strongly opposed Yang Tao’s election as a “superior officer” suddenly changed the direction of the wind, one said Yang Tao was qualified and suggested recommending her, and the other said Yang Tao was very good and could not be killed by some minor character problems. The other one said that Yang Tao was very good and could not be beaten to death with a stick because of some minor character problems. Then Yang Tao stood up and read a few pages of paper for 20 minutes, tearfully and impassionedly crying about her misfortunes and complaining about the injustice of the review. The whole meeting was quite tense, some of the students who were already disobedient were waiting for a good show with their hands in their hands, and many more did not say a word.

At this point, only the class president stood up and said something fair: “If you never take the initiative to do the class affairs and either delay or shirk, can you still be an excellent class member?” Immediately afterwards, the students who supported or opposed Yang Tao each stood in a faction and debated the definition of what is “excellent”.

Lin Yue had been working for so many years, but it was the first time she encountered such a thing. Anyone with a discerning eye could see that Yang Tao had admitted that there were problems in her work, but at the same time she tried to find reasons to defend and even embellish her own behavior, without any half-hearted attitude of review, which was enough to show that she was not a good person at all. Lin Yue was extremely angry inside – not only because the teacher’s authority was ignored, but also because she was surprised that these young elites had gone so far as to call a stag a horse, not distinguishing between good and evil! She wanted to slap the table and teach these students a lesson, but in the end she held back and followed the entire voting process without changing her face.

The final voting result, Yang Tao lost.

Since this incident, Lin Yue’s prestige has weakened significantly, and a small number of students in the class, especially those who are close to Yang Tao, began to make waves. From small meetings to writing graduation appraisals, there are always one or two people who jump out in the WeChat group to stir up trouble, making Lin Yue uncomfortable. After their graduation, the school asked the class teacher to continue to track their work and file implementation, and a few people spoke out of turn, even directly pulling Lin Yue.

This all left Lin Yue with mixed feelings.


Not only were the students intimidating, but the colleagues at Y College were also difficult to approach. Previously known teachers, face to face, Lin Yue wanted to warmly greet, but people far away from the head a turn and pretend not to see. A teacher surnamed Guo, good class, popular with students, Lin Yue specifically to listen to her class, each time respectfully ask her for advice. But when she met her at school after class, Ms. Guo treated her as nothing and never paid any attention to her – of course, these teachers are not born ice, and when they meet someone they know very well, they immediately smile brightly.

After a few times, Lin Yue understood that she was not worthy of their smiles because of her lowly position. With a cold heart, she stopped taking the initiative to say hello to her colleagues.

I didn’t expect that in an ivory tower where the “high school students” gather, they would be so naked. I could only comfort her by saying, “Build up your strength, and one day others will see you.” Her husband said the same thing: “Before you grow into a giant, you must bear all the malice.”

But a year passed, and Lin Yue still didn’t even have anyone to talk to at Y Academy. When a colleague heard that Lin Yue had not been assigned a course, he took the initiative to invite her to take a class with him and give her some class time – in Y Academy, there are fewer students and more teachers, so the school has to calculate the amount of class time every year, and those who fail to finish are sentenced to “fail” for the year. The teachers at Y College often “scramble” to take a class together.

Lin Yue was grateful to this colleague, but at the end of the semester, when the workload was counted, she found that her name was not among the teachers written for this course. When she asked her colleague about it, he explained that it was because a professor had insisted on putting his name on the list, and he was also very angry. Another female colleague asked Lin Yue to let the students in her class do something, saying that she would pay a certain amount of money, but then the work was done but there was no follow-up. When they met, they didn’t mention anything about it.

Lin Yue knew another teacher from another college, Xiao He, who was also planning to transfer to Y College. But before he came, he was “requisitioned” – Professor Li of Y College found Mr. Xiao He and told him that Professor Z (a nationally renowned scholar and the heavyweight who invited Mr. Xiao He to transfer over) had a national key project and wanted to invite him to participate. Among them, responsible for the writing of two government reports, promised him a reward of 30,000 yuan for each report.

Little Mr. He hummed and did a few months, finally finished a book, Professor Li asked him to hurry to report, said the funding is almost due. Mr. He went to the finance department and found that the project was closed in just two weeks – that is, according to the complicated financial reporting procedures and regulations, even at the fastest speed, he could only be reimbursed 5,000 yuan at most. Mr. He was so angry that his face turned green, exclaiming that he had fallen into Lee’s trap. After that, he was discouraged and did not want to proceed with the second book. But Professor Li raised the name of Professor Z to pressure him to hurry up and finish, saying that no one could be held responsible for affecting the progress of the whole project. The most treacherous thing is that, from the beginning to the end, Xiao He has not communicated directly with Professor Z. I do not know whether Professor Z approached him or not.

After this incident, Mr. Xiao He completely put off the idea of transferring to Y College.

After experiencing these events, Lin Yue deeply understood the saying: when you are the weakest, the people who bully you the most.

During that period of time, Lin Yue was in great pain, and the indifference and the shrewd and arrogant attitude of the Y Academy, which was revealed everywhere, deeply stung her heart and eroded her dignity little by little. She became extremely heavy-hearted, reluctant to go to school, and even more afraid to see her colleagues. She often lost her temper with her husband for no apparent reason. Mr. said to her: “It is normal that people despise you because you have just arrived at this college where talents gather, and you have not been evaluated for senior positions, and you have no representative achievements. It is useless for you to give up on yourself and die now. The only way to catch up is to get up and wait for the title, then people will be impressed with you.”

Lin Yue thought about it, it was like this.

The teachers at Y Academy are highly hierarchical, in a pyramidal structure.

The top level is the “nationally renowned professors (second level professors, etc.)”, they have a lot of publications and reputation, holding a lot of major projects, students all over the country; the second level is the leadership of the college, some of them were once students of famous professors, some academic work is also very good, there are many PhDs and masters underneath, with a wide range of contacts; the third level is If there is no need for administrative promotion, they do not need to look at anyone’s face and already have the right to say “no”; the fourth layer is the associate professors, who are young and promising, with full motivation to rise, usually from famous schools, with national projects and core journal papers. The fourth level is associate professors, young and promising, full of motivation, usually from prestigious schools, with national projects and core journal papers.

The last layer is the lecturer like Lin Yue. This is a group of people who are despised by the major classes and various departments. No one will take a look at this group of people, they do not have the slightest sense of existence, hard work will always come to the door.

Lin Yue said, university teachers can be divided into three categories: the first category to go career, the second category to go title, the third category is not to choose the two free school – they are either particularly rich family, “teacher” is only a side job, or see through the red world unwilling to pursue fame and fortune. A very small number of family background, and their own efforts, the first two roads can go through. For people like Lin Yue, who has no support and no connections, the title is the only lifeline.

But it is more and more difficult to get the title every year. Since the university entered the ranks of the “double first-class”, it has been introducing various talents in large quantities every year. The standard of talents entering the university has been upgraded from master’s degree to doctoral degree, and then to post-doctoral degree, and now it is not for “returnee doctor”. With the introduction of talents, the threshold of title evaluation has also risen, and the competition is extremely fierce. 20 years ago, some teachers could be evaluated as professors with just one newspaper article, 10 years ago, they could be evaluated with a few general journal articles, and even 5 years ago, they could be evaluated by reaching the minimum line of school title evaluation – but in the past 4 years, the selection conditions are like helicopters! But in the past four years, the selection criteria have risen to the clouds, gradually making them out of reach. Lin Yue felt like a blindfolded donkey, chasing a carrot all day long in a desperate march.

In 2018 and 2019, Lin Yue declared her title twice in a row.

In the first year, she went through the first round of elimination in the college. 7 people applied for the evaluation, and finally only 5 people were able to get out of the “college line”. In many departments of the university, there were only one or two applicants, so there was no internal competition, but in Y College, where there were many experts, competition was inevitable. Lin Yue was pushed to the school level with only a slight advantage, and when she participated in the evaluation at the school level, Lin Yue was finally unsuccessful because of the strong scientific achievements of the first few students in Y College. In the end, Lin Yue lost.

The next year, Lin Yue desperately sent two C journals, thinking there was some hope. The next year, Lin Yue sent out two C journals, thinking she had some hope, but when she applied for the evaluation, there were still seven applicants, and the number of research results rose significantly, from an average of five C journals to eight per capita. After the final elimination, Lin Yue barely made it out of the competition once again. She thought that Y was a strong discipline and represented a high level of competition in the university, but when she entered the university-wide discipline group, she was once again dumbfounded: other disciplines were also on the rise – to be precise, under the university’s new regulations, papers were no longer the only indicator, such as government advisory reports, teaching achievement awards, and social service practice had also become important indicators. Under such an evaluation system, Y College’s advantages were gone.

What makes Lin Yue even more speechless is that all the previous restrictions of the school, such as visiting abroad, working for 3 years, and the first unit of the paper must be the name of the school, are all abolished. After a fierce competition, only the first-ranked teacher in Y College, with six monographs and 12 C-journal papers, was properly evaluated as an associate senior. Looking at colleagues from other colleges in the same group, they all had more than 10 C journals, several consultancy reports, and one or two national social sciences – the conditions for the associate degree were so high, and the conditions for the senior degree were even higher.

Lin Yue felt that the fundamental reason for this defeat was that the results were not absolutely dominant. Anyone with a discerning eye can see clearly that the school’s current policy is clearly inclined to “introduce talent” – really confirms the old saying that foreign monks will recite the scriptures, with a variety of titles, aura of talent to come, the settlement fee can get at least 500,000 yuan, the annual salary of a few The annual salary is a few hundred thousand, more than a million. In contrast, Lin Yue, as a lecturer, only earns a few thousand dollars a month. In order to create promotion paths for the “imported talents”, the university has gone out of its way to relax the conditions and introduce policies that benefit the “foreign monks”, allowing teachers who have worked for more than a decade, such as Lin Yue, to “make way”. The school has been able to create a promotion path for the “foreign monks” by relaxing the conditions and introducing policies that benefit the “foreign monks,” allowing teachers such as Lin Yue who have worked for more than a decade to “make way.

A former colleague of Lin Yue, Mr. Wu, was finally evaluated as an associate in 2019. He said he has experienced many times before and after the evaluation of the title, somehow change, somehow lost, has long been seen strange. Lin Yue asked him whether he had gone to the relevant departments to reflect, he said: “What’s the use? If you want to continue to stay here, do not ask anything, it is useless to ask. Only accumulate strength and slowly wait for the opportunity.”

At the end, Mr. Wu also said, it is said that next year the title review will change the rules again, start to pay attention to “teaching (learning) reform (reform)” and teaching materials, you quickly prepare.

Lin Yue only felt that her eyes were dark – the school easily changed a rule, and the people under her had to work hard for at least two or three years to reach the target, but when the target was easily completed, the new rules came again.

In the midst of hopelessness, she sent the friend circle that I saw late at night. Then, fearing that others would laugh, she deleted it again.

Lin Yue felt like she was involved in a rapidly rising Ferris wheel, people are hanging in the air, can not go up and down, the invisible rope strangled her breath. I remember when I first joined the school, the school leaders advocated that the teachers’ job is to “teach and educate people” and “to have dedication”. At that time, the school’s new campus is located in the middle of nowhere, many older teachers do not want to go over, Lin Yue, the new teachers, was the first to be assigned to work in the new campus, a little relationship, stay a year back to the old campus.

But Lin Yue has been there for 5 years. During this period, she had also applied to the leadership to transfer back to the old campus, saying that she had reached the age of starting a family and had some practical difficulties, but the leadership always said that “other comrades have more difficulties” and hoped that she would persist, so Lin Yue also listened to the leadership arrangements. Nowadays, the school advocates “talent development”, the newly introduced talents are not as obedient as Lin Yue, they will calculate whether to undertake a certain job based on the benefits, and know how to use various resources to quickly reach the promotion conditions, other than that, nothing can be taken into account.

In today’s results-oriented world, everything Lin Yue has ever worked for has become worthless and meaningless.

With the increase of various tests and projects, the criteria for “talent” are becoming more and more detailed. Teachers are tired of running around every day, and everyone is classified into different types of talents with various titles, and people without titles are as embarrassing as naked. In the past, we often get together for a meal to have fun, but now there is competition and interest everywhere, and colleagues are tight-lipped, and their faces have long been without smiles – not to mention the relationship with students, who are taking all kinds of certificates and have no time to study, and when they have time, they swipe their phones and are rarely willing to communicate with teachers. communication. The scene of respecting teachers and having fun with them is long gone.


Lin Yue was devastated by her failure in two consecutive job evaluations, and the cynicism of her family made her feel worse than death. Once relatives came to the house for dinner, Lin Yue complained to several elders who had grown up with her, saying that the competition in colleges and universities was too fierce and it was too difficult to evaluate titles, and she could not do it anymore. I thought the family would comfort me, but one of the elders said with a disdainful tone, “Then you should think more about your own problems, don’t complain all the time, bad writing is the key to the problem!”

Immediately afterwards, another elder paused and said, “It is true that there is a lot of competition in colleges and universities now, but there are also a lot of talents. I have a colleague’s daughter who is not yet 30 years old and is already a professor.”

When Lin Yue heard this, she could no longer hold back her sorrow and secretly turned her head to wipe her tears. Her father, on the other hand, was still greeting everyone attentively with good food and drink.

When she went to study for her doctorate, these relatives said sourly: “Why do girls study so much, be careful not to get married.” After she got married, they mocked her explicitly and implicitly, saying, “What can you do with a PhD, you still have no money? This time, they will certainly say, are so hard, the title is still not assessed.

Since then, Lin Yue vowed not to attend meaningless family gatherings anymore.

In 2020, Lin Yue decided to adjust her body and mind, and did not participate in the title evaluation this year.

When the class of 2020 entered the university, the department mobilized teachers under the age of 40 to apply for undergraduate mentorship, and the Y College implemented a mentorship system in which one undergraduate student was assigned a mentor. Lin Yue thought to herself, “I am at least a graduate of 211 or 985, I can’t be a mentor for doctoral or graduate students, but I can’t be a mentor for undergraduate students. So she signed up for the first time.

However, one day, Lin Yue didn’t wait for any notice, but she saw the photos of the meeting between the new students and their mentors in the department group. She was so sad that she sent a message to the person in charge of the college, asking what the requirements for undergraduate mentors were and what she could not do. The person in charge replied: “I’m sorry, I forgot about you. Then he said that he had already sent the information to the students, and that the supervisor and the students had a “double selection system”, and asked her to wait patiently for the results.

Lin Yue thought, “The students don’t even know her, how could they choose her? But when she looked at the lineup of mentors, she couldn’t help but take a breath: a bunch of well-known professors, professors and associate professors competing for the mentorship of more than 20 students – many of whom were already over 40 years old.

The results came out, and as expected, none of the students chose Lin Yue as their mentor.

That day, Lin Yue cried a lot. She began to regret why she had come to this academy so rashly, she was just asking for trouble. She was a complete failure and redundant in the academy.

All her grievances could only be directed at her husband, and the family quarreled twice a day, and a gloomy atmosphere prevailed. Her husband was also annoyed and yelled at her: “If I were you, I would just call and ask the person in charge why you weren’t notified of the ‘double-selection’? People have already ignored you to such an extent, so you can just start cursing. If you are a wimp, everyone can ride on your head.”

The selection of graduate student mentors has also begun. Lin Yue’s heart crossed, what the hell, go ahead and report, anyway, it’s already at the bottom, what’s one more rejection? This time, she passed the selection at the college level.

But with a master’s tutor qualification, she also had to actually bring her students before she could be considered worthy of the title. One night, Lin Yue received a text message from a student to the effect that she had read her materials and wanted to find her as a mentor. Lin Yue was a little excited, but then she looked at the student and realized that she was not the right person. After a few minutes, the student called to apologize, saying that the wrong text message was sent to another teacher. Lin Yue only had to laugh bitterly twice.

A few days later, the graduate secretary called and asked her if she could accept the two graduate students transferred from Professor H, who was not feeling well and did not want to take students anymore. Lin Yue replied that she was not experienced enough, so she would take one first. After a while, the research secretary told her to mobilize two students to come over, but both students were reluctant and even forced to withdraw, saying that they came here for Professor H. If they changed teachers, they would withdraw collectively.

In the end, the master’s students also did not bring.

The successive blows put Lin Yue in a state of extreme depression, but this frustration could not be told to anyone – talk to colleagues, others will only look down on you more, talk to family, but also does not help. Friends and relatives used to use her as an example to teach their children, but in the past few years, no one said such things anymore. Her father was a staunch supporter of the “uselessness of studying” theory, and except for her husband, who was as supportive as ever, everyone else looked on coldly.

Lin Yue and I were both born in the early 1980s, and very few working-class parents had the foresight to plan for their children’s future, and our parents raised us almost like a free-range family. Lin Yue grew up in a single-parent household, but her father almost never gave her any encouragement or positive influence, so it was not easy for her to get to this point. Because of her family’s environment, Lin Yue, like me, thought about finding a job as soon as she graduated from graduate school in order to have financial income to support herself, and never thought about pursuing further studies at that time.

When Lin Yue read the doctoral degree after working for several years, her age was already much older than her peers, so when she returned to school after reading the doctoral degree and then went to compete with a group of young people, she naturally did not have an advantage. In addition, Lin Yue is an interdisciplinary doctoral student, her supervisor is not in the university, she does not have any academic contacts, so her academic prospects are not optimistic.

Whenever she talks about these things, Lin Yue has a sad face and sighs repeatedly. She said she hadn’t considered stopping and not trying anymore, and spending the rest of her life relaxing and taking good care of her children. At least there is a job, with a fixed salary, it will not be so bad, “but do not dare ah, do not advance is retreat, maybe one day the school will be opened it? The rule of survival in Y Academy: only the strong will be seen and respected. When you are weak, it is pointless to do anything. Of course, I understand that and there is no need to do anything that doesn’t concern me.”

Lin Yue readjusted her life guidelines. She refuses to do anything that is not her part of the job, and refuses to do anything that she should refuse. For colleague’s request for help, or to be divided into people, talk about some love can help, for the face of the people do not help. Dealing with colleagues, it is very simple, meet a nod on the line, and even without a smile, as if you do not see directly walk past can, because no one cares who you are. What others say, what they do, what they have promised, do not care too much, do not believe, otherwise the injured can only be their own. For other people’s indifference, contempt or injury, a smile and ignore, because one day, these people will eventually become a passing cloud.

Gradually, Lin Yue found herself treating people with kindness in life is scratching away from life, replaced by the law of the jungle survival: the weak, the strong, the survival of the fittest. She was learning to become a strong person, to quit being glassy-eyed, to be brave enough to say no, to have a heart like a rock. She felt like she was becoming part of the Y Academy faculty template and surprisingly felt less tired.


In December 2020, the college group suddenly sent out a message, like a boulder into the lake, which created a wave – Professor Zhang Zhi, who had just won the National Social Science Foundation, was sent to the hospital in a coma at his writing desk one night because of accumulated fatigue.

Prof. Zhang Zhi is a rising star in Y College with many achievements.

In recent years, cases of death by overwork are frequent in various famous universities. Outsiders may just see the scenery in the university and envy the leisure of teachers, but what they don’t know is that teachers nowadays have long been working more than 996 hours, busy with classes during working hours, and doing projects and writing papers during off hours. When she was pregnant and gave birth, she wrote her thesis until she was in the delivery room, and she faced the computer for more than 10 hours a day. Not to mention those scholars who have written a lot of books, no one has three heads and six arms, and all of them are using their lives in exchange for academic growth.

Since Professor Zhang Zhi was hospitalized, everyone in the group has been concerned about this matter. Zhang Zhi’s struggle is also gradually known to everyone: he came from a remote mountain village, and his family was very poor when he was a child, his parents only had 3 tiled houses, and they still haven’t changed their houses even now. Although he was a university teacher, he was not well-off, and his family had younger siblings to pay for their studies, and his mother and father also needed to provide for them. He had studied hard since he was a child, and his father said that he did not forget to recite from his book even when he was walking up the mountain.

Now, Professor Zhang Zhi’s life and death are still unknown, which makes everyone very distraught. Colleagues have donated for him, while silently reflecting on whether they should overdraw their lives in exchange for those so-called pursuits?

Lin Yue had never thought much about life and death before, but people are already middle-aged, and the burden of life for the whole family is coming. On the contrary, she has very little time to spend with her father.

Lin Yue decided to properly relax and let herself off the hook a little.

On Christmas Day 2020, Lin Yue and I finally had time to get together. She still looked thin and a little haggard, but in good spirits. We drank tea and chatted idly about what we had experienced in the past year.

Lin Yue said that although Y College was rather cold in human relations, it was ultimately fair. Because of her hard work, she was awarded “excellent” in the year-end evaluation, which was not possible in the old X College. In some competitions, even if the leaders of the college participated, they were always eliminated even if they did not perform well, which was encouraging and gave people some hope. And, during the year of the epidemic, the family was safe and sound, not lacking in food or clothing.

I said, “Yeah, you see your life is actually just fine, it’s just that you have high expectations of yourself.”

Lin Yue looked out the window and said, “I remember the year I went to the doctoral program, my mentor pointed to the sky outside the window and said, Tagore had a poem: ‘The sky does not leave traces of birds, but I have flown. How many people can really leave traces? More people are just a lot of people, living like ants. At that time, I aspired to be a person who could leave traces, or at least a person who could soar in the sky. But the reality is, we have to work very hard to be an ordinary person. And even if we work hard for a long time, we are not as well off as the people who seemed to be ‘not trying’ at first.”

I smiled and said that Tagore also had a poem: “A bird would like to be a cloud, a cloud would like to be a bird. No need to envy others, in fact, everyone is the same in the end.”

Recently, Lin Yue has started preparing for the title evaluation again.