Guest blogger: Will Tang – “Something about my family”

As the school term ended, I invited my students and other QQ followers to write something for this blog. The topics are theirs. All I have done is clean up their grammar and spelling.

First to submit something was Will Tang XiongLue 唐雄略, who graduates in June this year. Will and I were both teachers at a friend’s kindergarten last year, and he’s also been my student for three years.

Will Tang XiongLue

Will Tang XiongLue

Something about My Family

I was born in 1991 in Yongzhou, which is located in the south of Hunan province. Until I was 7 years old, I lived in a beautiful country village named 毛坪里(Mao ping li). It’s a small place in Yongzhou.

My grandfather had told me that 毛坪里 was a desolate place full of weeds a hundred years ago. (That was during Qing dynasty in China history.) Then three young brothers came there, worked the land, built houses, and married with women from the nearby villages. They are my ancestors.

My father is a middle school teacher in town. Grandfather told me that he had experienced a lot of hardship and suffered lots of pain in order to attend school. When father was 9 years old (It was 1972, when most people were extremely poor in China), he had to quit school because there was no money at home, even to buy paper for his homework. However, my father was and is always optimistic. He went fishing in the river, captured rice frogs in farmland, and cut wood on the hills in order to gather money to back to school. One day, father fainted on a hill. Fortunately, an old man saw him and saved him. Having seen all this, my grandfather was deeply moved, and made a biggest resolution to support my father in his study. Finally, my father went back to school and finished his studies.

According to my mother, father was a handsome boy when he was young. “Your father works hard, has a strong will, and is full of responsibility,” my mother said. My mother and father were classmates in their middle school, and father was the monitor in class, so she has a special impression of him.
My father married when he was 26. My mother said that many girls liked him before that time. One of the girls, who was beautiful and rich, had the thought to marry my father. She had bought a large number of presents for my father, but he refused them. My father rather wished to marry a girl who was filial, industrious and kind-hearted, so he chose my mother.

When I was a freshman in middle school, my mother told me some story about her family before she married my father.

“Your grandfather was a businessman who cared for his family very much. Every month, he would send or bring some sweets to his children. [During that time, candy was a luxury for ordinary people.] One holiday, your grandfather chose a school to learn technology. The school was a little far from home, and the problem was that there were two big mountains between home and school. It was a long walk. That day, your grandfather did some cleaning for the school, so it was nearly dark when he set off for home. In the centre of mountains, he was walking alone, suddenly there appeared a monster who looked like a giant, with hair so long that it almost reached its feet. Your grandfather was horror-struck and immediately picked up a stone, flung it at the monster, and then it disappeared. Your grandfather ran back to home, said some words, then died.”

After hearing this, I felt shock mixed with anger. “Who was so viperous to pretend to be the monster?” I asked my mother. She didn’t know.

She told me another story.

“Your uncle — who is my older brother — was an excellent soldier in the army in his twenties. He had a promising future and was appreciated by his superior officer very much. One day, after training, your uncle went back to the dormitory and drank a cup of water on the table. Unbeknownst to him, the cup of water was mixed with silver nitrate.

The result was that my uncle was sent to hospital and lost his position as a soldier, because of the resulting disability.

“We never found out who put the silver nitrate in his cup!” my mother said.

It was a wicked matter, but if it happened today, the murderer would be caught.
My mother said that she feel lucky to meet my father and marry him.

January 9th, 2015

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