Monday, May 10, 2010

"I rushed into library without breakfast"

The following entry highlights two aspects of Chinese college life that are totally different than American college life: obsession with exams and competition for study spaces.  Perhaps they are related -- almost all students on this campus study diligently, so the libraries and classrooms are often full.  The student writes:
I am sitting in the library and recollecting the whole course to look for seats to study this morning...
I decided to get up earlier than before to look for seats in the library yesterday.  To my surprise, I overslept this morning...  It was approximately ten to seven.  I rushed into library without breakfast.  There were so many people that I didn't find no seats at first.  I felt regret and guilt that I couldn't find a seat.  I thought they were crazy. 
Suddenly, I found there was a person leaving, so I went to there to put my book on the desk.  After a while, I met a friend there...  She told me that in the compound building there were exams.  I understood why there were so many people.  Of course, I knew that most of the people in our school were preparing for the graduate examination.  So did we.  From now on, we have to do a good preparation for it.  It is related to our future and career.  We have no other choice but to work hard to make our dream come true... 
I believe I can achieve it.  So come on, Glenda!
The "graduate examination" that she talks about here is the examination to get into grad school.  It's not like the GRE, because it's a knowledge-based test that's tailored both to your major and to the school you apply to.  This means that you first have to decide which school you think you have a chance in and which specialization you want to choose.  (For English majors, they have three possible specializations for grad school: linguistics, literature, or translation.) Then (if you're like my students) you study for 6 or 7 months for that specific test.  If you don't make the cut at that school, you're in trouble.  Another student writes about it here:
Now I'm confused.  I don't know where my future lies...  I know the most important thing now is the postgraduate examination.  But, I don't know which university I should choose.  Choosing the university is vital because it decides my following many years.  I'd like to study in Northeast Normal University, but I'm afraid I can't pass the exam, and maybe it's late for me to prepare.  I really don't know what I should do!"
If I had a nickel for every junior student writing on this topic, I could give up support-raising altogether.  Oh, my wonderful, confused, hard-working, hard-pressed students!

No comments:

Post a Comment