Chapter 5 Part 1- Choosing Electives is a very Technical Activity
I entered the school that year. Peking University allowed you four weeks to pick your courses. Besides professional courses, everyone could also freely pick elective courses. You could pick any class as long as you got the required credit hours. I grabbed the thick selection book, and began to ponder which classes I would not fail at. I opened the new students manual casually and found the failing penalties after a time. Peking Uni was still considered extremely selective when entering, but extremely lenient when exiting it. To take care of the weak students that were unable to adapt, if new students failed, as long as they made up the class their second year it would not be included on the transcript. The new students manual also cautioned us not to overselect the first year, as to prevent failing from not enough energy. Of course, I would solemnly obey this instruction, as my brain had enough to worry about with the professional courses. As long as I could get all my credits in four years, everything would end.
I turned to ask the others: “Have you learned German before?”
They were really very honest: “No, but after I applied for this department, I applied for a summer class for a while.”
I could not believe it and sighed: “You guys just finished the Gao Kao and you still participated in a summer class? Why is it that after I took the Gao Kao, I felt like this servant* was liberated, and became as wild as a crazy horse? You guys are too shameful!”
- She is referring to herself in third person (more specifically, she is referring to herself as ‘this servant’)
Julie laughed: “Wasn’t everyone afraid of the huge competition? We all said we can’t lose at the starting line. I heard that there were also people who grew up speaking German around also. Our days won’t be easy!”
I sighed, “This kind of crime is simply outrageous! My God~~ why don’t we just hit a wall and forget about it?!”
Wen Tao comforted me: “Don’t think more about it. Learning German for these four years, you don’t need to learn math, and you probably don’t need to read English. The objective is just to let us concentrate on reading the German language. And the language relies on diligence to learn it. Everyday we have to wake up early to read it for an hour. Then it will definitely be fluent.”
I looked down: “Everyday in the early morning…then won’t you have returned to high school? I can’t…”
But as a single person, I could not reverse this trend.
Our floor was all from the foreign language department. Every morning, a group of girls would have a cup full of water in the bathroom to practice their sounds and pronunciations. The first time I heard it, I thought I was in the suburbs, and what I heard was the sound of frogs. So I could only practice with water every day, but I didn’t know why, every time while I practiced, I would swallow the water. This made me full of nausea. Even if I moved or didn’t, I would be stimulated: there would often be a lot of girls’ screams beside me: “I pronounced it, I pronounced it, listen ¬——”
Oh, they really had too much against people. My intelligence couldn’t compare with the others, unless it was that my organs were a little lacking than others’s organs? Why could everyone sound it, while I hadn’t made any improvement at all this past month. I forcibly opened my mouth as I looked into the bathroom mirror, and began to analyze my oral structure. Right when my mouth was about to get sore, someone patted my back, “Hey Lin Lin!”
I closed my mouth with difficulty. From the mirror, I saw Ru Ting standing by my side. I turned and greeted her: “Hi, so coincidental.”
Ru Ting laughed, “We live in the same building. I can never find you at all. What were you doing just now? Do you have a cavity?”
You’re the one who’s grown a cavity! I took a step back and said, how can the one who has a cavity be her! I laughed: “No, no, it’s just that there’s a little inflammation on the tonsils.”
Ru Ting anxiously asked: “Did you eat medicine?”
I waved my hands: “There’s no need to eat medicine. Drinking water is fine. The Beijing weather is a little more dry, one should drink more water.”
“That’s right. You and Yu Ke are all Southerners. Coming to the North, you must not be used to the climate.” She kept washing the grapes as she told me, “You should eat more fruits. I just bought these from the downstairs market. After I finish washing them I will send them to Yu Ke. He doesn’t know that he should buy some fruits either. Every time he will wait for me to buy them before he eats them.”
A lover was really scary. Even after three sentences she would not leave her man. I said: “Yu Ke also bought some fruit. Last time I saw him buy some grapes.”
“Really? In the past he didn’t like eating fruits. Washing was too much trouble, so he just didn’t buy them to eat.” Ru Ting pouted.
The cold-faced killer required too much high maintenance. I was never too much trouble. It wasn’t a big deal to not wash them and eat it directly. I laugh, embarrassed: “That is because he has you to wash them, so he purposely doesn’t wash them to wait for you to send them over after you wash them.
Wear it 1000s upon 10000s of times, but don’t wear boot-licking*. I was very familiar with this saying. Ru Ting laughed very sweetly, the dimples by her mouth becoming deeper. I thought of Xiao Xi’s dimples. They were very deep and sweet.
- *No matter how many lies you tell it is easy to expose a secret, but just be flattering. Even if you add many extravagant embellishments, when people hear it their hearts are soothed, and they no longer take it seriously, so as long as you have thick skin (stubborn), you can say whatever you want. (TL: I really did my best to translate that saying literally in the story, but still ended up with something akin to crap.)
Ru Ting asked me: “How did you meet Yu Ke?”
See, see, she had begun to calculate our history. I laughed, and said: “Really, I don’t really know him. Our town was small, and only the two of us got into Peking University. My parents couldn’t accompany over, so they asked him to come over with me. We’ve known each other for a few days.”
“It doesn’t seem like it, haha. I feel like he has known for ages. When I went over to his house for summer break, he said he would come with his parents, and didn’t allow me to accompany him. I didn’t think that in the end, he didn’t allow his parents to to stay with him, saying that this would embarrass him, a big man, too much.”
What show was this now? Was she trying to suggest to me that their relationship was already to the stage of meeting each others’ parents, or to tell me that I took advantage of Fang Yu Ke, staying with him in the train for the whole night. Puhlease, that whole night his eyes were glued to National Geographic, and ignored me. I didn’t even speak as much that night as I am now to you. I was a little unhappy, but I pretended I didn’t have a temper and said: “Haha.”
Suddenly I thought of the classic phrase: Most of the time, when I say haha, I don’t really laugh, and my heart thinks go f**k your mom .
 The phrase comes from 彪悍的人生不需要打伞–牛人语录 aka “Sturdy Life Does Not Need an Umbrella” by– Cattle Quotations. This is an actual book…Lin Lin is really badly influenced!