The fate of students at second-year colleges and universities is the most basic bottom

“In the era of mass education, more and more young people are getting the opportunity to receive higher education, but it is undeniable that only a few lucky ones can enter dozens of glorious key universities, while more can only enter a huge number of ordinary second-year colleges and universities. “This is what Huang Lantern says in the preface of “My Second Baccalaureate Student”.

Huang Deng, a university teacher, has been working in Guangdong F College for 15 years, teaching more than 4,500 students, and has witnessed countless “the most common young people in China” through daily teaching, homework tutoring and mentorship in this ordinary second-year college in the economically developed Pearl River Delta region. Through daily teaching, homework tutoring, and the implementation of the tutoring system, she has witnessed the individual destinies of countless “most ordinary young people in China” – second-year students.

According to Huang’s understanding, most of her students have a similar growth path: they come from an ordinary background, either from an unknown village or from an obscure town, with a working mother, a laid-off father, and rows of siblings who are not yet adults, which is different from the current generation of schoolboys. This is in stark contrast to the current high-caliber families with “first-tier cities, highly knowledgeable parents, and international perspectives”.

Their arrival at university is entirely dependent on the access provided by the current college entrance examination system, and their destination, moreover, has a ceiling that is within reach in the harsh competition for career choice. More importantly, their spiritual journey will be completed in the inertia of marketization, success, and instrumental rationality, along with the young group from higher-level universities. With the rapidly polarized reality and the increasingly cramped space for upward mobility, how much possibility do the young people at the bottom of the second-tier students have to break through their own limitations – their social connections, their families of origin and even their actual personal abilities? This is the core question that Huang Lantern repeatedly emphasizes in his writing.

This article begins with a final exam for a class on “University Language”. Through the writings of students such as Hu Xiaochun, Li Zhenghong, Qiu Dandan, Pan Jiemin and Huang Qingwei, Huang Lantern starts from three essay questions, showing their state and feelings after they enter university through the college entrance exam, and indirectly reflecting the difference between urban and rural children, and the problem of educational decoupling between secondary school and university. Fortunately, despite the numerous heartaches, these vigorous and powerful beings are still exceptionally resilient, and they contain great energy, enough to burst into all kinds of possibilities.

The fate of students at second-year colleges is the most fundamental undercurrent of China

The most recent public class I gave to students was the first semester of the 2016-2017 academic year, “University Language” for the 2015 class of the Department of Finance, four classes: 1515113, 1515114, 1515116, and 1515117, a total of 202 students.

The admission score of the Department of Finance in our school is very high, at least one-third of the students exceed the key line by forty points to have a chance to be admitted. For foreign provinces, especially remote provinces, such as Yunnan, some students have scores that could have gone to Yunnan University, but because they want to leave their parents and long for faraway places and coastal areas, they choose Guangzhou and come to our school’s finance department. There are also some inland provinces with high competitive pressure, such as Henan, where students with scores that could have gone to Zhengzhou University also come to our school for the same reason.

Combined with the experience of giving classes to finance students many times, I found that even for an ordinary second-tier college like Guangdong F College, the rich employment opportunities and developed economic conditions, because of its location in the first-tier city of Guangzhou, can still greatly guarantee a quality student source for the finance department. in November 2016, in the same week of class, I randomly counted the number of students from key secondary schools in 4 classes, 202 In addition to the 13 people who missed class, there were surprisingly 161 students from key middle schools all over the world.In the 2018 graduation season, I have counted the student source of Chinese 1416012 class of 2014, and among the 25 interviewed students, 16 of them explicitly informed that they came from local key middle schools, 8 from urban middle schools at the regional level, and only 1 from non-key middle schools in the county, the proportion of key middle schools in Chinese classes The percentage of key secondary schools in the Chinese class is still so high, so it can be inferred that the situation in the finance department is the same.

In the essay question at the end of the paper, I gave three questions for them to choose from: 1. The three questions were similar. Over the years, because I was convinced that the greatest challenge in the classroom was not the problem of learning or knowledge, but the problem of not being able to reach a real group of people, I tried to use the exams to make them look at themselves and mobilize their own life experiences, so as to understand the perceptions of society and themselves of students born in the late 1990s.

The final exam, as an inescapable written expression, will be the last effective communication between our teachers and students, and a window into the inner thoughts of the young people. On the whole, there were candidates for all three questions, but the choices of “What puzzles me most” and “This may be related to their intuitive experience as educated subjects.

First, let’s look at the question “What puzzles me most”.

What I didn’t expect was that the biggest confusion of urban children after entering university came from the proliferation of electronic products in the information age. They frankly admit that, in the face of the infiltration of electronic products, such as smart phones, after entering college, because of the loss of high school teachers’ control, unable to control the temptation to see everywhere, many students can not help but brush the phone in class, in fact, has seriously affected life and learning.

The rural students, although also difficult to get rid of the general environment, but also subject to the constraints of the network, electronic products on them, but deep inside the biggest confusion, all from the load on top of the family struggle for survival.

As the eldest sister in her family, Hu Xiaochun’s parents’ biggest expectation is that she will be employed soon after graduation to help her family pay for her younger brother’s education. Her dream is to become a teacher or to take a postgraduate course in law, but the burden from her family makes her hesitate: “If I continue my education, it will bring more pressure to them. Confusion about employment and whether or not to go to graduate school has been my thinking for nearly half a semester, only there was never the right answer to tell me what to do? “

Li Zhenghong is a left-behind child whose parents took her two younger siblings to work in the city, leaving her with her grandparents. Although she understands that her parents’ choice is “forced by life, there is nothing else to do”, and although her only wish is “Longing for my parents’ love, even if it’s just to come home and stay with me for a day or two, that’s already very satisfying”. But years of secret crying late at night during the years left behind, even at university, whenever there is an opportunity to express it, one can sense that the years have not healed her wounds.

Qiu Dandan is in a different situation than Li Zhenghong, as she is similar to the child Zhenghong writes about who was brought to the city by her parents to work; in fact, for Dandan, the thing she is most grateful for is that her parents did not let her become a left-behind child. She was born in Chaozhou and moved to Guangzhou with her family at a very young age. Her memories of her hometown have long been blurred, but she is familiar with the streets and alleys of the urban village where she grew up in a foreign country, and has a natural affinity for it. She does not speak Chaozhou, nor does she speak Rao Ping, her native language since childhood, is a mouthful of authentic vernacular, she likes the city of Guangzhou where she lived since childhood, and has long considered herself a Guangzhou native. She remembers every job her parents had: working on construction sites, running a clothing store, working as an electrician, and being a local railway janitor. The family lived on loan in a relative’s tiny house. Her parents’ firm belief was that they could afford to pay for their two children’s education through their struggle in the city; Dan Dan’s greatest wish was to become a true Guangzhou citizen through hard work. She went to university with high scores while studying on loan, making her parents proud, but it was not until she went to university that she understood the awkwardness of reality and became confused about the truth she had been hiding, “I wanted to integrate fully into the big city of Guangzhou, but found that there were still certain difficulties; it was also difficult to integrate into my hometown. I am a migratory bird who flew to Guangzhou with my parents, but I have nowhere to stay for a while”.

Let’s look at “China’s education in my eyes”.

Expectedly, “Chinese education” in the students’ understanding is stuck in “What surprised me was that rural children and urban children, facing the same topic, had different attitudes but the same feelings.

Many students of urban-born children abhor test-based education, which Liu Yixiao likens to “a gamble”. “It can be said that we have dedicated almost all of our lives until the age of 18 to the college entrance exams. We went to elementary school, junior high school and high school all for the college entrance exam, more than ten years of hard work and struggle are bet on a test. This is perhaps the biggest gamble in life, but in my opinion, it is a bad gamble”. Fang Xueyi outlined the youthful era of Chinese students in this way: “With the college entrance examination as the dividing line, the youthful era of Chinese students seems to be simply and roughly divided into two parts, before and after the college entrance examination. Before the college entrance examination, I remember my whole life, it seems to live for the college entrance examination. From elementary school, to the key; junior high school, to enter the experimental class; high school, OU class. Life is like a predetermined trajectory, I must not make a single mistake according to this trajectory preformed. Otherwise, I will not be accommodated by the surrounding environment. Parents’ expectations, teachers’ teachings, the small comparison between classmates, are like a huge stone, pressed my internal organs are pain.

But for rural students, from the test papers, I saw many children filled with the celebration of breaking through the college entrance exam. Indeed, it is not easy for them to get into even a second-level college like Guangdong F College. Since they were small, they were almost always the best students in their classes and were able to go to college. They cherished the opportunity of the college entrance examination from the bottom of their hearts and appreciated the relative fairness of the entrance examination. A girl named Su Yan said, “We, the Chinese educated generation, look back on the past and complain about it and hold a grudge against it, but we have to admit that it gave us, the poor students, a path to affluence and out of poverty “. Wu Shuying expressed it more directly, “As a rural-born child, I was able to enter the hallowed halls of university, and the first thing I have to thank is our college entrance examination system, with the relatively fair platform of the college entrance examination, I was able to receive higher education “. Chen Wenting frankly, “recalled the youth, can recall only the reluctance to attend tutorial classes during the holidays, the blackboard can never be wiped clean math formulas, the smell of chalk dust in the air, the anxiety when reporting results to parents “. But when she entered the university classroom and gained insight into the reality, she was more than grateful, “I used to hate Chinese education, thinking that it took away my childhood, teenager and even the happy time of youth; but now, I am sitting in the university classroom, and I am immensely grateful to it, it is it, which gives me the Through my own hands, using the pen as a sword, I have the opportunity to see a wider sky.

What makes me sigh with emotion is that students, whether from the city or the countryside, feel exactly the same way about the brutal pressure brought by exam-oriented education. Their secondary school years are extremely hard, both physically and mentally, and they almost reach their limits in the “countdown”. The “pledge meeting” under the pressure, the concept of time is very strong, many students even bathing, washing clothes, emotional crying is too much time. The test-taking concept of “one more point, to kill a thousand people” is deeply rooted in their hearts. Hong Timely in the final paper about a girl’s situation, “her family is very difficult, her parents were laid off, the family also has a large number of people, has been as the class leader in a mock test frustration, she chose to jump from the third floor of the school building. After being taken to the hospital, she was found to have a lot of skin that had been cut by razor blades. After she woke up and was questioned by her family and teachers, she learned that she had been under so much pressure to dissipate that immense pressure through pain”.

It is also because of the stressful exam progression they have endured that the students in the classroom, who are moderate and old-fashioned, rarely have surprising and unexpected discussions and questions occur, nor do they feel that discussions and questions in the classroom should be the norm of college life. In thirteen years of teaching, I have never had a single student argue with me for insisting on their own ideas. Their calm neutrality was a stark contrast to the bravado and recklessness of our college days. None of the kids ever behaved unexpectedly, they contracted the tentacles and sharp edges belonging to their youth, and when pushed to the edge, the only person they could lay their hands on was themselves. The growing number of dark figures became a group that I could not avoid in my vision.

In the second half of 1992, shortly after the university started, our English teacher, Ms. Fu, was very popular with the students, and on a whim, I tried to tease her, and secretly placed a fake snake made of paper on Ms. Fu’s podium during class. The small and delicate teacher was so frightened that she decided to suspend class to find out the prankster. In full view of everyone, I stood up with a red face, admitted my mistake and told the truth, to like the teacher did not resist catching a little, the farce as if it had not happened, the news did not even get out of the classroom, but turned out to be a laughing stock for my classmates to make fun of me twenty years later. As the last witnesses before the spread of mass, market-oriented higher education, when the classroom is no teacher and student evaluation, teachers and students will not defend their rights, not to mention the teaching accident, the classroom is purely between teachers and students to convey knowledge as a carrier of the emotional meeting place, the school will not be a small incident on the line, the students an occasional out of line, will not suffer any punishment from the school. After the “fake snake incident”, Ms. Fu did not fail my English grade, everything was like it had never happened, and we were still used to the small and delicate her, sitting on the desk, shaking her blue dress. We were still accustomed to her sitting on the desk, shaking her little legs in the blue dress, and emphasizing the past perfect tense with us in a clear voice.

But in more than a decade, no child has ever had an unexpected encounter with a teacher simply because of my irrepressible teenage nature. They have long since lost the recklessness and ignorance of my college days, and their interest and desire to even poke fun at their teachers has vanished, which is precisely how I perceive the change of times most directly.

Although I recall now that I scared my English teacher because of my childishness, I have to admit that the reason I dared to be reckless came from the idle and relaxed mindset of an eighteen year old. Although I was studying in a local college, I didn’t have to worry about finding a job (college students were still assigned), living expenses (the state had a monthly living allowance), and I didn’t have to struggle for rankings and scholarships (these factors don’t affect a student’s future), and I didn’t have to study for a second degree or take countless documents for the sake of a glamorous graduation resume, and of course, I didn’t know what “buying a house” was. I don’t know what “buying a house” is (at the beginning, it was a unit welfare housing). But now, the students sitting under my desk are a group of children who have passed more rigorous examinations, gone through countless scores, rankings and competitions, and received countless cramming classes to enhance their competitiveness. On their first day on college campus, before they have time to detoxify the stagnation inside their high school days, they are told about the pressure of employment, the pressure of buying a house, and the pressure of competition. From the time they can remember, the invisible, fine load has been placed on them, cutting them down to size and making it difficult to find opportunities to leak cunning in their lives.

Teachers and parents in secondary school always think that everything will be fine if they send their children to university through various means, but it is the university teachers who have a more direct sense of the consequences of secondary education. In my specific classroom, I fully felt that education is like a chronic inflammation. The strong drugs, antibiotics and hormones taken in the primary and secondary school years finally bear the evil fruit of indifference, indifference, non-thinking and non-initiative in the university years. The inner exhaustion of students and the harsh pressure of the university era become the undertones of their spiritual life. As a witness of the subsequent stage of secondary education, I witnessed the state of children being pulled in the process of growing up and felt deeply about it, but parents were unaware of it, and secondary school teachers, forced by the goal of test-taking, could not take more responsibility for the sustainable development of students. No one can tolerate a child’s failure in a frantic chase, and with the reality-enhanced stratification of colleges and universities, students are not allowed to fail themselves. Children’s individuality, nature and vitality of life are worn out without a trace, and their faces are becoming more and more similar, having become standardized components of factories long ago.

I used to think that today’s children were petulant and unable to suffer, but as I became more involved, I realized that not only could they suffer (high school students rarely get more than eight hours of sleep), but they could also accept competition and were not afraid to take tests. One time in class, I was suddenly dizzy, and a girl skillfully took out a box of Tiger Cool Oil and gave it to me. I looked at the stuff near the bottom of the bottle and felt strange that this item, which I remembered only being used by my 80-year-old grandfather when he had a headache, had become a standard item for students under my desk. One boy saw my hesitation and immediately added, “Teacher, we came through our senior year with Tiger Balm.

It pains me that students give so much and still don’t know their goals in life when they get to college. The following is how they describe their state in their test papers.

“Entering the classroom unknowingly, unknowingly receiving knowledge that may be completely useless to them, both in the future, and in their present lives. “

“In my head, there was just one thought, to get a good grade on the test. “

“Only the disgust for learning and the helplessness for the dullness of life. “

“Speaking of college entrance exams, many people, including me, will recall the piles of test papers and books of senior year. “

“Take the college entrance examination as the only goal of life, and take the examination ranking as the standard of success or failure. “

“Only care about how many points you can do and not what you have studied. “

“Students are arranged neatly like a product in a classroom, or what I call an assembly line. “

“Our generation, especially in the ‘post-90s,’ The ‘rushed’ mechanism of growth is evident. “

A centralized examination paper marking, I felt for the first time the students sweating profusely and whining to speak to me from the heart. It was as if they had forgotten that the words in their pen came from their inescapable final exam paper, and like a judge, I was dumbfounded in the face of the children’s confessions. The final exam meant that I no longer had the opportunity to discuss these issues with them in the classroom.

I thought of little Pan Jie Min, childish and simple face, but with insight into the secrets of society, “The era we live in is an era of scramble. No matter how lazy you usually are, as long as your dad is tough, or position all the way up. No matter what you have done wrong, your father helps you to fix it. No matter what you want, your dad can help you get to your hands. If you don’t have a backstage, then you’ll be ready to fight for a decade or so.

I also think of the silent Huang Qingwei in the classroom, in “I sadly look at this era”, he gave the following assertion, “dark clouds have been brewing crisis, thunder and lightning and people ignore it, the storm will come, no one can be spared “.

I hope this is the classroom, their masked rebellion, tumbling on the paper, these tender youthful figures, finally in the examination paper to make their voices heard.

An ordinary final exam is nothing more than a mirror that passes by like a flash.