Sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m doing, living in China and trying to learn Mandarin in my 60s. The set task for the day may be a piece of comprehension that try as I might I just can’t comprehend. I should really take a leaf out of this Chinese middle-school child’s essay about why he/she has to work hard at their studies.
Time passes very quickly. It’s midterm season soon, I already began nervously preparing for the test, I must begin working harder, because if I don’t work hard and review well, then my grades will not go up, and I will be scolded by my parents, and if I get scolded by my parents then I will lose self-confidence, if I lose self-confidence then I will not finish my studies, if I do not finish my studies then I will not graduate [from university], if I can’t graduate from university then I will not find a good job, if I don’t find a good job then I won’t be able to make money, if I don’t make money then I can’t pay taxes, if I don’t pay taxes then it will be difficult for the country to pay salary to teachers, if teachers can’t get paid then they will not be dedicated to teaching, if they are not dedicated to teaching, then this will impact our nation’s future, if our nation’s future is impacted, then it will be difficult for China to advance and develop, and the Chinese people will degenerate into a barbaric race.
If the Chinese people degenerate into a barbaric race, then the USA will begin to suspect that our nation has large-scale murderous weapons, if our nation has large-scale murderous weapons, then the USA will start a war with China and World War III will erupt, if WWIII erupts, both the strengths of both the USA and China will not be enough, if their strengths are not enough then they will use nuclear weapons, if they use nuclear weapons then they will destroy the environment, if the environment is destroyed then this will create a big hole in the atmosphere, if there is a big hole in the atmosphere then global warming will escalate and the glaciers at both poles will melt, if the glaciers melt then the global water level will rise, if the global water level rises then the entire human race will drown and die. Because it relates to the survival and security of the entire human race, therefore I must spend the remaining next few days on review in order to do well on the test, and thus prevent a tragedy from happening.
This kid will go far – he/she sees the bigger picture – me, I just think ‘it’s 6.30pm, time for a G&T’!
BTW, the teacher’s comment at the end of the essay was: Haha, I laughed out loud when I read this!