From a laid-off worker to a tricycle driver to a doctor of Fudan, a mediocre person who bounced around at the bottom, at the “old age” of 38, suddenly stepped into Fudan to study and learn from a great scholar. He made a gorgeous turnaround.
What kind of a legend is behind this?
Cai Wei, with his own efforts for most of his life, has explained.
The ideal of life is for the ideal life.
Cai Wei’s name before the age of 38, in the eyes of the people around, just an ordinary to ordinary symbols, no different from the old king next door, the street small Zhang, A B C D, a lot of people.
In 1972, Cai Wei was born in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province. His parents were both workers, and he did not study much, nor did he have the anxiety that comes with being educated, even from the starting line, he was left to his own devices, reading ancient books and practicing calligraphy, all based on his interest, not catching up.
Since elementary school, Cai Wei has shown a keen interest in languages, and likes to hold a dictionary and flip through it to recognize words for fun. So much so that later on, when teachers encountered a rare word they didn’t know, they asked him directly for the “answer”.
But for other subjects, Cai Wei is shallow love light, look at each other two disgusted. If not to cope with the test, basically can not afford to understand.
By high school, even though the language scores were outstanding, but could no longer resist the decline of other subjects, Cai Wei’s test ranking fell again and again, so he himself was discouraged.
At a loss, he plunged into a collection of poems and rhetoric, turning the bitterness of learning into a carnival of interest and allowing himself to gallop through the wilderness of ancient Chinese.
When he had some free time, Cai Wei would run to the Jinjiang Library alone and read all kinds of “cold” books, hungry and happy to forget his worries.
When I was in high school, I started reading classical poetry, and then I discovered Jiang Lihong’s “The Continued Sable of the House of Righteousness” and was particularly interested. After that, I found all the books of language and writing in the library and read them one by one. The experience of looking for books and reading books in the library opened up my eyes and made me recognize what I wanted to pursue. “
In just over a year’s time, Cai Wei, who was still in high school, had finished reading 300 books.
The closer you get to ancient texts, the more you love and heart.
However, the college entrance examination is not only for the language subject.
In 1991, Cai Wei, who was severely biased, failed in the highly competitive examinations.
The moment he got his high school diploma, he knew in his heart: from now on, the only school he could read was “society” one.
In this way, Cai Wei with his high school diploma, into the flow of people, in the flow of society, began to look for a place to live.
The first job Cai Wei found was a small worker in a hose factory, life suddenly entered the track repeated with his father’s generation, despite the meager salary, but the stability of the 9 to 5 makes him very content.
However, such a life lasted only 3 years: 3 years later, the hose factory closed down due to poor business, Cai Wei also followed the layoff.
Job is gone, naturally have to find another way out, but no high education, no hard background, a mortal, and not good social, where is the way out?
On balance, Cai Wei chose a windy but very low threshold of hard work – stall.
So in front of a mall in Jinzhou, every day there will be a tricycle with cigarettes, drinks, and ice cream in the summer, a man is always quietly squatting on the side.
“He never thought about how to earn money, selling ice-cream just look down and read a book, and do not yell. “Even in his wife Zhang Yue, Cai Wei’s” silence “also with the identity of the hawker is very incongruous.
You do not yell, how to solicit customers? The same squatting stall, the same day to day labor, compared to the able to speak peers, Cai Wei’s income is barely making ends meet.
Despite this, Cai Wei is willing to suffer. He chose to set up a stall and a small thought that people do not know: stall leisure more, you can have enough time to read books.
With the companionship of books that you like, then the hard work has become bearable.
The winter in Jinzhou, more than 10 degrees below zero, Cai Wei’s family has not paid the heating bill for more than 10 years in a row, the coldest time, sleeping with three or four quilts, but also often woke up in the middle of the night by the cold. In the two-bedroom house, there is no decent furniture, only a computer, piles of second-hand books and handwritten notes turned to yellow.
In such a situation, his wife still does not give up: “He is honest, the most important thing is that he has the persistence to study what he likes. “
More than a decade of stall years, so Cai Wei mixed in the small vendors, hard to make a living, but also to have enough time to dive into reading, close to the ancient books.
Perhaps, God was also moved by Cai Wei’s perseverance and arranged his “encounter” with the great masters of Chinese studies.
Since the 1990s, Cai Wei has paid attention to the National Academy website, and he has been going online to exchange with his friends who are interested in ancient texts.
He registered an account for himself and named it “hold small”, with “Zhixiang Primary School” (“Primary School “, an ancient Chinese term for phonetics, phonetics, and exegesis).
At that time, Mr. Qiu Xigui was already a leading figure in ancient philology, and Cai Wei had read Mr. Qiu’s works as early as his sophomore year in high school, admiring them for a long time and eager to find opportunities to communicate with the master.
In 1995, Cai Wei wrote a letter to Mr. Qiu Xigui with the intention of giving it a try. He did not expect to hear back from Qiu more than ten days later.
Many years later, Cai Wei recalled this handwritten letter and was still overwhelmed with emotion: “I can recite the content of this letter now. “
In his letter, Mr. Qiu Xigui fully recognized Cai Wei’s efforts of self-education: “I admire him very much for his hard work and diligent study without regard to merit. “
On March 15, 1996, Cai Wei rushed to Beijing to have his first meeting with Mr. Qiu Xigui. This brief encounter was like a candle light that illuminated Cai Wei’s long, lonely road to knowledge, and allowed him to think and read for more than a decade in the silent life of a stall.
In January 1997, Mr. Qiu Xigui published an article “A Preliminary Exploration of Shen Wu Fu” in “Cultural Relics”, in which he confessed that he could not find a reasonable explanation for the word “Zaozi” in “Shen Wu Fu”. The article was published by Mr. Qiu Xigui in “Cultural Relics”.
After reading the article, Cai Wei quickly wrote to Qiu Lao, arguing that “Zuozi” should be understood as The word “Zuozi” should be interpreted as “contempt”, which means “sigh”.
When he saw the letter, he was enlightened and nodded his head repeatedly, calling Cai Wei’s statement “very reasonable.
After that, Mr. Qiu Xigui began to pay constant attention to Cai Wei’s dynamics on the National Academy website, and whenever there was an updated article, he read it carefully, feeling more and more that this Jinzhou “peddler” was extraordinary. The more and more he felt that this Jinzhou “peddler” was extraordinary, with a deep knowledge of the subject, beyond the ordinary.
He writes very little, very cautiously, and it is rare to be able to combine excavated documents and heirloom documents to see. “
Gradually, Cai Wei’s name began to be known to more people in the academic community. However, from 2007 onwards, his dynamics on the National Academy website became less and less.
The talent-loving Professor Qiu Xigui suggested more than once that Cai Wei take the graduate school, but Cai Wei politely refused, after all, he was too old and partial to pass the normal recruitment process. English alone is enough to lock up access to Fudan.
Seeing that Cai Wei had no more dynamics in the national school network, Qiu was even more worried about his situation. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers.
“More often than not, you can earn 30 to 30 a day, better than the stall, but the time to read books is getting less and less. “Under the pressure of life, Cai Wei had to put down his hobby, muffled pedal car.
When he heard of this dilemma, Mr. Qiu Xigui felt compassion for him and decided to help Cai Wei because he could not bear to lose a talent in ancient writing research.
In 2008, Fudan University collaborated in the compilation of the Mawangdui Han Tomb Collection. On the recommendation of Mr. Qiu Xigui, Fudan University’s Research Center for Excavated Documents and Paleography hired Cai Wei as a temporary staff member to assist in the compilation.
What is more eye-catching is that such a tricycle driver without any title, with his years of self-learning accumulation, completed the task brilliantly and won the recognition and appreciation of more experts.
Once the codification work is over, Cai Wei soon fell into the dilemma of staying and going. Stay, the work has ended; go back, the dream is difficult to continue.
On one side is the heart of the ancient book, the other side is the family’s tricycle, the ideal and life, Cai Wei is also very helpless: but can not be both, leaving a sigh.
However, when Cai Wei was torn, a letter of recommendation from three experts, Qiu Xigui, Li Jiahao and Wu Zhenwu, and an application from Fudan University had already reached the Ministry of Education.
Cai Wei’s life was being quietly rewritten.
On April 23, 2009, a name – Cai Wei – appeared on the proposed list of 2009 doctoral students at the Center for the Study of Excavated Texts and Ancient Writings of Fudan University.
From a tricycle driver in Jinzhou to a doctoral candidate at Fudan University, from the dust of the city to the tip of the ivory tower, Cai Wei has become famous overnight.
Han Yu once said, “There are always a thousand-lipped horses, but not always a bole.
It is very rare for a person to meet a noble person who appreciates him or her in this life.
Cai Wei was lucky enough to finally get the help of a bole at the age of 38 and turn his ideal into reality in one fell swoop.
The talent of several professors, the open-mindedness of Fudan University, and Cai Wei’s own continuous efforts eventually led to this incredible story of rebellion.
Because of his special experience, Cai Wei especially cherished his time at Fudan University: he finally had plenty of time and stacks of books to read.
Because he only had a high school foundation, he was seriously biased, and there were gaps in his knowledge of many systems, so Cai Wei’s path to doctoral study was particularly arduous compared to other students.
Six years later, Cai Wei finally completed all the course credits, finished his graduation defense, and graduated from Fudan University.
With a doctoral degree from Fudan, he could have taken the lead in the job hunting field, but at the age of 44 and with a first degree from high school, the 20 to 30 resumes Cai Wei submitted were all sunk in the sea.
In a flash, half a year has passed, and the job is still hopeless.
Finally, Guizhou Anshun College threw an olive branch to Cai Wei, hiring him as a college teacher.
Today, Cai Wei continues his academic research related to ancient Chinese characters in Anshun, where he is responsible for teaching typography and calligraphy to students.
In 2019, his doctoral dissertation, “Misspellings, Derivations, and Usage Habits – A Study of Several Topics in the Proofreading of Excavated and Heirloom Ancient Books on Jane and Silk,” was officially published.
Each year Cai Wei publishes few papers, but each one ensures a dry run.
“If there is nothing insightful, simply do not write, write one to solve at least one problem. “
Mr. Qiu Xigui back in the recruitment of Cai Wei, it is very appreciated in his body for the purity of learning: “so many years, Cai Wei do this thing, not for the name, not for profit, just want to read the ancient books to understand, like a riddle, guessed, the problem is solved, it feels meaningful. “
From adolescence to youth, and then from youth to middle age, Cai Wei for the ancient Chinese language, decades of love and research, without interruption.
A reporter once asked Cai Wei: in your stall self-study, you will feel lonely?
Cai Wei paused: It was quite lonely, there was no one to communicate with.
The reporter also asked: What is the biggest touch of this loneliness to you?
Cai Wei said: academics are not like art, academics need to be fully immersed, not in a hurry, not to catch up with the fashion, it is a lonely study.
No matter how the wind of the times blows, if a person can put aside utilitarianism, concentrate on his work, and make unremitting efforts, he will eventually be invincible and ride the waves.
Many people have had dreams, but ended up in the status quo, why?
Cai Wei said he has come to today’s key words only two: one is love, one is persistence.
Every ideal deserves respect, and every persistence should not be underestimated!
If you have a dream in your heart, please persist in pursuing it, if love is there, your heart will not grow old, and the future is all promising.
Cai Wei’s story continues, and I believe that after him, there will be more starlight rushers.