Tales from Modern China: See who’s right


This story happened in the 1990s. At that time, there was an old teacher surnamed Hu in a village primary school. At the end of the year, he was rated as an excellent primary school teacher at the municipal level. He went to the Municipal Bureau of education to receive the award. The red certificate of award was personally put in his arms by the director of education. After the award, the Education Bureau organized these excellent teachers to visit the people’s Park.

Everyone was in high spirits, talking and laughing. Unconsciously, they went to a small stall where “there are prizes for pots”. Behind a yellow line, there were three small caliber cans in the distance. The stall owner shouted to the customers: “come and try it. You can take three glass balls for one dollar. As long as you throw them all in, you can get a multifunctional electronic watch!”

Tales from Modern China

At that time, electronic watches were very popular. If anyone had a multifunctional electronic watch, it was worth showing off. The teachers were eager to try, and Mr. Hu whispered, “this watch is good. It’s useful to get up in the morning. It’s also very useful for children to run the 100m Sprint in PE class!”

A young male teacher took out a bill and handed it to the stall owner: “I’ll take three glass balls!” he turned to the other teachers and said, “why is it difficult? Who didn’t throw chalk heads at the students who didn’t pay attention to the class when we were in class!”

When he said this, everyone nodded. At that time, in order to deal with the wandering students, the teachers almost all practiced the ability of “fast, accurate and ruthless” in throwing powder pens.

The young male teacher threw the first glass ball confidently and accurately into the first jar three meters away. Then he threw a second glass ball, but this time it didn’t go well. The glass ball hit the outer edge of the mouth of the can. Fortunately, it rebounded and nearly fell into the bottle.

There was the last glass ball left. The young male teacher’s forehead began to sweat. He opened his horse step, bowed and aimed for a long time, and finally threw the glass ball, but the glass ball didn’t even touch the side of the can bottle.

Then there were two young teachers, both of whom ended in failure. At this time, everyone thought of Mr. Hu and asked him to show his hand: “I heard that Mr. Hu has more than 30 years of teaching experience. It’s not blowing. His kung fu must be better than us!”

Mr. Hu smiled awkwardly, took a crumpled bill from his pocket and handed it to the stall owner. He got three glass balls. He picked up a glass ball, rubbed it between his fingers for a long time, took a deep breath and threw it out. But unexpectedly, it failed for the first time.

Alas, how can Mr. Hu reach this level? No! Other teachers encouraged him one after another: “Mr. Hu, don’t be nervous, you can certainly do it!”

Mr. Hu said nothing but stared at the fried soybeans that a teacher had just bought as a snack and suddenly begged for three. The teachers were confused and looked at each other. They didn’t know what medicine Mr. Hu was selling in his gourd.

Mr. Hu got three soybeans and took out a dollar and handed it to the stall owner: “boss, I’ll try again. This time, use soybeans instead of glass balls, OK?”

The stall owner smiled and said kindly, “yes, yes, but I think the old man seems to come from the countryside. It’s not easy to earn money. Don’t be so competitive. The glass ball didn’t throw in just now, let alone the light soybeans? I think it’s better to forget it.”

But Mr. Hu was unmoved. He skillfully picked up a soybean, raised his hand and threw it gently. Only listening to the “Ding”, the soybean fell into the first jar without bias. Then, he threw two other soybeans at one go and hit the target accurately.

The teachers immediately clapped and cheered. The stall owner handed the electronic watch to Mr. Hu and gave a thumbs up: “you are always the first person to win the electronic watch today. I just don’t understand why you can’t use a glass ball. You can throw so accurately by changing soybeans?”

Mr. Hu smiled bitterly and said, “we are poor there, and the chalk is often not enough. We are not afraid of your jokes. Usually, when we write on the blackboard, the chalk head is worn so hard that we can’t hold it, and we are not willing to throw it away. Instead, we clamp it with a self-made bamboo clip until it is ground to the size of soybeans…”

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