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Mr. Shaw - My Story

Mr. Shaw - My Story

Editor’s note: Mr. Shaw is a respectable teacher. He is also a dedicated member in Middlekingdom Toastmasters club. Although he’s more than 60, he is as energetic as the young. He speaks very fluent English and actively participate in Toastmasters. In 2009, he took part in division speech contest and won the third price after joining the club only half a year.

Here Mr. Shaw shares his story with us. To make friends with him, please contact him at

I’m very glad to have this chance to share my story here on ZZconnect. 

  I was born in 1949. I went to middle school in 1962. During my school days, I liked natural sciences very much. My favorite subjects were mathematics, physics and chemistry. I could understand everything in those subjects, and always got good marks. But, because my memory was very poor, I hated those subjects which required memorizing a lot, such as history, geography, politics and of course, foreign languages. Back then, the foreign language we learned was Russian .You can easily image that Russian was the most difficult subject for me. During my third year in junior high school, I always flunked my Russian examinations. It was really my nightmare!

  In senior high school, I worked very hard on Russian. After one year’s excruciating struggle, thank my lucky stars, I got 63 marks on a Russian examination at last! One of my schoolmates once said that in the eyes of his, marks under 96 were ugly, but in the eyes of mine, all marks above 60 were very beautiful!


  But, as the saying goes, something unexpected may happen any time. Just when I was getting some confidence in learning a foreign language, the great culture revolution began. In the great chaos, all lessons stopped. Two years later, in 1968, in the movement of "going to the countryside”, I went to a poor rural area with some of my schoolmates. We lived in a small village which is 500 kms from here. The scenery around that village was very beautiful, but the people were very poor. We worked very hard till our hands were raw so that we might get enough food to eat. In those days, we earned no money at all. I lived and worked there for more than 4 years. Then, at the end of 1972, I had the chance to go back to Zhengzhou, and was assigned to work in a medicine store.

  The store was in fact a small clinic. (It had )There were three herbalists doctors. My job was to collect money and send invoices to clients. I was not busy, because there were not many clients. I had much time to read. So I always brought my favorite books to work. The store became my university. I worked 5 years in that store and read many many books there.     

  Then, at the end of 1977, I got an opportunity to change my job. I became a worker in a factory which was run by No. 6 Middle School. But in reality, I did not work in the factory; I worked in classroom as an unofficial teacher. At first, I taught physics in the junior high school part. Then, after one and a half years, the president of the school asked me to teach the seniors in the senior high school part. I accepted that task, and did it successfully. It was in 1979, that I passed an examination organized by the Zhengzhou education administration and became an official teacher. undefined

  As a teacher, I felt that if I could not master a foreign language, I would fall behind the times. So in autumn of 1978, I made a big decision. I must learn a foreign language! Because I had forgotten all about Russian, I decided to learn English, the most useful foreign language.

  My story about learning English is very interesting. I would like to talk about it next time.


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13 06, 12 21:22

posted by: Stephen

Thanks for your wonderful and inspiring story

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