Some 9 million Chinese students recently took their National College Entrance Examination or Gaokao.
These exams are extremely stressful and students overwhelmed by the pressure sometimes commit suicide and these suicides have been dubbed Gaokao suicides.
It doesn’t help that the essays of the top scorers and sometimes those with a zero are released to the public.
One teenager however obviously didn’t care about his grade though. In an essay on justice or more accurately ‘sense of balance’ the teen wrote that he/she expected a zero. With China’s intolerance for dissent however one has to wonder if the grader was too scared to give the teen a higher score.
Justice? I’ve always wanted to live a just life; in a society where everyone’s equal, where the law reigns supreme, where the city management don’t beat the rabble, where school principals don’t check into hotel rooms with their students, where doctors focus on treating their patients. But I was born into this society, breathing highly polluted air, eating food that could kill you at any time, watching the director of some state tobacco bureau accumulating millions. I want to ask, do you see justice? Do you believe the Chinese Dream will ever be realised? It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, either way I believe it.
When over 10 thousand pigs collectively jumped into the Huangpu River, I realised that if I don’t believe in this “justice,” I’ll end up just like them. I’ve been waiting to live a “just” life, where the government officials are honest and do real work, where the businessmen run their businesses conscientiously, where the housing prices are not so ridiculously high, and where the people live in happiness and contentment.
There’s only a few minutes left before I have to turn in my test paper, and I already know my essay has pricked the test grader’s tiny little heart. Give me a zero then, my dear grader. I’m not scared, Sanlu milk powder didn’t kill me, so what more could a zero grade do? Don’t hesitate; scrawl down the grade, and then you can go play mahjong…
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