Those examination stories – 高考囧事 – English

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As for me,I took the gaokao test 4 times, once when I finished high school, and three retakes. You could even say I was an crafty old gaokao fox. Even so, our school had older foxes. There was one classmate who tested for eight whole years. By the end, his original classmates returned to teach his classes. Unfortunately he still came in last place. Finally he left to do something, who knows what, but his saga was passed down at our school for many years.

A decade or more ago, such old foxes were found everywhere in my Northern neck of the woods. It wouldn’t be considered odd — the part that was odd, was that every year during gaokao, there are these moments when you didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. At that time, emoticons were not yet popular, and when people talked about it, they just said ,those guys are too funny, or that stuff is too amusing.

The first year that I took the test, I was bewildered and confused, but it hardly mattered. A doctor from the school infirmary brought two oxygen tanks and went running down to the dormitories, selling oxygen to the students. He loudly claimed that breathing the oxygen would make your brain work faster be nimble. Quite a few students fished out money for 2 mouthfuls of air, but I didn’t have money, I just had a stomache full of envious hatred. Instead, I went to a lush green tree and single-mindedly breated in a few lungfuls of air, and then I set off for the testing room.

But after the test, there are were rumors to the effect that the oxygen tank had no oxygen at all. At best it was just air, and maybe it wasn’t even air, but industrial fumes. I had a malicious thought that, when you look at it, being poor has some advantages. You rarely get fooled into paying to breathe industrial fumes, for example. Of course there are even more disadvantages, the worst of which is only being able to eat cafeteria food. When you see someone else eating instant noodles, you want to get out of there fast, before you start drooling in front of everyone.

What really gets people excited during gaokao when you are finally free to go and buy some savory treats at the cafeteria. But you don’t want to take too many chances, for fear that you vegetarian-trained stomache will not be able to handle the onslaught of greasiness, and will decide to act up by growling audibly, like Sun Shaoping in An Ordinary World. (Sun Shaoping is a character in the very popular novel An Ordinary World — he grew up poor in a village but aspired to to to work in the city as a laborer,)

A growling stomache during gaokao can definitely make you the focal point of a classic screw-up or the butt of the joke?. One year one of our classmates had to make 3 or 4 trips to the restroom during one session. Every time he went, a proctor had to go with him. Due to his traipsing back and forth, the entire test hall was filled with the racket of student and proctor traipsing back and forth, and he drew fear behind him through the room.

第二次复读时,班上有两个同学,一个数学极好,每次开始都考取140分左右的,另一个一个数学极差,别的科目也一般。两个人关机关系很铁,喝多了酒可以两肋插菜刀那种。巧合的是,他们还被分在一个考场,于是动了心思。为了帮助哥们,考数学之前他们商量好了,成绩好的那个给差的那个传纸条,并约定用4321来代表ABCD,这样即使被监考老师捉到,也可以抵赖。考试过程中纸条有惊无险地传了过去,考完出来,大家都聚集在食堂里,边啃馒头边相互对着答案。差的那个兴奋得不得了,得意地说:真幸运啊,你的答案几经波折终于传到我手里了,1234ABCD都抄上了,选择题全部拿下,我数学能及格了。周围的同学顿时石化:你脑子进水了啊,4321对应ABCD,不是1234。这哥们正好抄反,选择题全军覆没。

That day he didn’t eat a single grain of rice at lunch. The next year, we were classmates again.

有一年考试,也是数学,就在快要交卷的前五分钟。同考场的一个同学尖叫一声,大家都去看,原来她前桌的一个人,把她卷子抢走了奋笔疾抄,监考的老师已经惊呆了,从没见过过这样的。过了好一会,老师们才冲上去制止了这个人。

囧或不囧,高考都不过是一段经历,哪怕是四次高考,也不可能像红薯一样,烤得多久熟得透。事实上,人们关注它,谈论它,并非因为它的有趣,而是以为它的残酷:一个人的命运常常就在几天时间里决定了。这种决定,不是他当科学家还是当艺术家区别,而是他要一辈子做农民,还是有机会进入其他行业,改换门庭。对农村孩子来说,尤其如此。

我永远记得,我最后一年高考后不久,终于收到大学录取通知书时,放羊的舅舅说:总算又有一个人从咱们这穷山沟出去了。他当年的沉重,我后来才深刻体会,现在,也只希望能有更多贫寒子弟能挤过这座独木桥,抢滩登陆到好一点的岸上。



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December 12, 2016 @ 11:31:01Current Revision
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<p><span style="color: #ff6600;">As for me</span>,I took the gaokao test 4 times, once when I finished high school, and three retakes. You could even say I was an crafty old gaokao fox. Even so, our school had older foxes. There was one classmate who tested for eight whole years. By the end, his original classmates returned to teach his classes. Unfortunately he still came in last place. Finally he <span style="color: #ff6600;">left to</span> do something, who knows what, but his saga was passed down at our school for many years. </p>  
<p>A decade or more ago, such old foxes were found everywhere <span style="color: #ff6600;">in my Northern neck of the woods</span>. It wouldn't be considered odd -- the part that was odd, was that every year during gaokao, there are these <span style="color: #ff6600;">moments</span> when you didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. At that time, <span style="color: #ff6600;">emoticons</span> were not yet popular, and <span style="color: #ff6600;">when people talked about it, they just said ,those guys are too funny, or that stuff is too amusing</span>. </p>  
  <p>Speaking of the Gaokao, I took the test 4 times. First when I finished high school, and three times after that. You could say I'm like an ‘old fox’—quite experienced in taking the exam. Even so, our school has some students who are even more experienced. There was one classmate who took the test for eight whole years. By the end, his original classmates returned to teach his classes. Unfortunately, he still failed to earn a passing score. In the end, no one knows what he amounted to, but his story is still famously passed down in our school for many years.</p>
  <p>A decade or more ago up north in my neck of the woods, it wouldn’t be considered odd to find such ‘old foxes’ everywhere. What was unusual, however, was that every year during the Gaokao exam period, there would be these annoyingly funny moments — called ‘jiong’ in Chinese — where you didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. At that time, the term jiong had not yet become popular, so when people describe those kinds of situations, they would just say, those guys, or that thing is too funny, or hilarious.</p>
<p>The first year that I took the test, I was bewildered and confused, but it hardly mattered. A doctor from the school infirmary brought two oxygen tanks and went running <span style="color: #ff6600;">down</span> to the dormitories, selling oxygen to the students. He loudly claimed that breathing the oxygen would make your brain work faster <span style="color: #ff6600;">be nimble</span>. Quite a few students fished out money for 2 mouthfuls of air, but I didn't have money, I just had a stomache full of envious hatred. Instead, I went to a lush green tree and single-mindedly breated in a few lungfuls of air, and then I set off for the testing room. </p>  <p>The first year that I took the test, I was bewildered and confused. But it hardly mattered. A doctor from the school infirmary brought two oxygen tanks and went running throughout the dorms selling oxygen canisters to the students. He exclaimed that breathing more oxygen would make your brain more agile. Quite a few students fished out money for 2 mouthfuls of air, but I didnt have money, I just had a stomach full of envious hatred. Instead, I went to a lush green tree and single-mindedly berated in a few lung-fulls of air, and then I set off for the testing room.</p>
<p>But after the test, there are were rumors to the effect that the oxygen tank had no oxygen at all. At best it was just air, and maybe it wasn't even air, but industrial fumes. I had a malicious thought that, when you look at it, being poor has some advantages. You rarely get fooled into paying to breathe industrial fumes, for example. Of course there are even more disadvantages, the worst of which is only being able to eat cafeteria food. When you see someone else eating instant noodles, you want to get out of there fast, before you start drooling in front of everyone. </p>  <p>But after the test, there were rumors spreading that the oxygen tanks actually had no oxygen at all. At best it was just air, and perhaps it wasnt even air at all, but industrial fumes. I had a malicious thought that, when you look at it, being poor has some advantages. You rarely get fooled into paying to breathe industrial fumes, for example. Of course there are even more disadvantages, the worst of which is only being able to eat cafeteria food. When you see someone else eating instant noodles, you want to get out of there fast, before you start drooling in front of everyone.</p>
<p>What really gets people excited during gaokao when you are finally free to go and buy some savory treats at the cafeteria. But you don't want to take too many chances, for fear that you vegetarian-trained stomache will not be able to handle the onslaught of greasiness, and will decide to act up by growling audibly, <span style="color: #ff6600;">like</span> Sun Shaoping in An Ordinary World. <span style="color: #ff6600;">(Sun Shaoping is a character in the very popular novel An Ordinary World -- he grew up poor in a village but aspired to to to work in the city as a laborer,)</span></p>  <p>What really gets people excited during the Gaokao is when you are finally free to go and buy some savory treats at the cafeteria. But you dont want to take too many chances, for fear that your stomach, used to a vegetarian diet, will not be able to handle the onslaught of greasiness and might act up by growling audibly. <span style="color: #ff6600;">This made me read a very interesting paragraph</span> from An Ordinary World about Sun Shaoping (Sun Shaoping is a character in the very popular novel An Ordinary World he grew up poor in a village but aspired go to work in the city as a laborer).</p>
<p>A growling stomache during gaokao can definitely make you the focal point of a classic screw-up <span style="color: #ff6600;">or the butt of the joke?</span>. One year one of our classmates had to make 3 or 4 trips to the restroom during one session. Every time he went, a proctor had to go with him. Due to his traipsing back and forth, the entire test hall was filled with the racket of student and proctor traipsing back and forth, <span style="color: #ff6600;">and he drew fear behind him through the room</span>.</p>  <p>A growling stomach during the Gaokao can definitely make you the focal point of a classic screw-up. One year one of our classmates had to make 3 or 4 trips to the restroom during one session. Every time he went, a proctor had to go with him. Due to his pacing back and forth, the entire test hall was filled with the noise of the student and proctor walking back and forth, <span style="color: #ff6600;">and he drew fear behind him through the room</span>.</p>
<p>第二次复读时,班上有两个同学,一个数学极好,每次开始都考取140分左右的,另一个一个数学极差,别的科目也一般。两个人关机关系很铁,喝多了酒可以两肋插菜刀那种。巧合的是,他们还被分在一个考场,于是动了心思。为了帮助哥们,考数学之前他们商量好了,成绩好的那个给差的那个传纸条,并约定用4321来代表ABCD,这样即使被监考老师捉到,也可以抵赖。考试过程中纸条有惊无险地传了过去,考完出来,大家都聚集在食堂里,边啃馒头边相互对着答案。差的那个兴奋得不得了,得意地说:真幸运啊,你的答案几经波折终于传到我手里了,1234ABCD都抄上了,选择题全部拿下,我数学能及格了。周围的同学顿时石化:你脑子进水了啊,4321对应ABCD,不是1234。这哥们正好抄反,选择题全军覆没。</p>  
  <p>The second time I retook the exam, there were two classmates, one with excellent math scores who would always earn 140 marks and another who was bad at math but alright in other subjects. These two were close friends, the kind where if you drank too much you can <span style="color: #ff6600;">stick a knife in both sides of the chest.</span> Coincidentally, they were placed in the same testing group and thus began plotting. In order to help out the other fellow, they discussed before the math exam that the guy with the better marks in math would pass on a slip of paper to the guy who wasn’t so good at math. They had decided that 4321 would stand for ABCD so that when the proctor came around they could deny cheating. During the exam, the slip of paper was passed on reluctantly and after the test, everyone gathered in the cafeteria eating steamed buns and talking about test answers. The guy who was bad at math was really excited and exclaimed: I’m really so lucky. After many <span style="color: #ff6600;">twists and turns</span> the answer paper finally got to me. 1234ABCD were all on there and I picked my answers accordingly, so I definitely passed the math exam. The classmates around him immediately said: Your head must be full of water! 4321 corresponded to ABCD, not 1234. This guy just happened to mix up the answers and bombed the multiple choice.</p>
<p>That day he didn't eat a single grain of rice at lunch. The next year, we were classmates again.</p>  <p>That day he didnt even eat a single grain of rice at lunch. The following year, we were classmates again.</p>
<p>有一年考试,也是数学,就在快要交卷的前五分钟。同考场的一个同学尖叫一声,大家都去看,原来她前桌的一个人,把她卷子抢走了奋笔疾抄,监考的老师已经惊呆了,从没见过过这样的。过了好一会,老师们才冲上去制止了这个人。</p>  
<p>囧或不囧,高考都不过是一段经历,哪怕是四次高考,也不可能像红薯一样,烤得多久熟得透。事实上,人们关注它,谈论它,并非因为它的有趣,而是以为它的残酷:一个人的命运常常就在几天时间里决定了。这种决定,不是他当科学家还是当艺术家区别,而是他要一辈子做农民,还是有机会进入其他行业,改换门庭。对农村孩子来说,尤其如此。</p>  
<p>我永远记得,我最后一年高考后不久,终于收到大学录取通知书时,放羊的舅舅说:总算又有一个人从咱们这穷山沟出去了。他当年的沉重,我后来才深刻体会,现在,也只希望能有更多贫寒子弟能挤过这座独木桥,抢滩登陆到好一点的岸上。</p>  
  <p> During one year’s exam, also in mathematics, it was just 5 minutes before we were to turn in our exam papers. Suddenly the entire examination hall with filled with the screeching of one of our classmates. Everyone went to see. It turned out that someone from the table in front of her had grabbed her exam paper and furiously began copying down answers. No one had ever imagined such a thing. The proctors just stood there dumbfounded for a good moment before they eventually stopped the student.</p>
  <p>Whether or not it’s embarrassing or frustrating, the Gaokao is, however, quite an experience. Even if it’s the fourth time around of sitting the exam, it’s not like where a sweet potato gets sweeter the longer its cooked. In reality, people pay attention and talk about it not because it is just interesting, but because they think that the Gaokao decides one’s fate within just a few days. This kind of decision isn’t the difference between becoming an artist or becoming a scientist, but it’s the outcome that either dooms one to peasantry or provides opportunity to enter a different field and raise one’s family status by moving up in the world. </p>
  <p>I will always remember how, shortly after I took the Gaokao for the last time, and finally received that letter of acceptance, my sheep-herding uncle said, “Finally, one of us will make it out of this poverty-stricken valley.” I only now realize his seriousness and only wish that more children of poverty would be able to find a way across this narrow bridge and find their place on the other side.</p>

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