SWFM22: We are all good kids
Five minutes later, in the media classroom which had grown even more crowded, there was no ‘Start of lesson, stand up’, no ‘Good afternoon teacher, good afternoon students’. Chalk in hand, Xu Tingsheng began his ‘lesson’ just like that.
40 minutes, not a second less, not a second more. Control over time was a necessary skill in education competitions in which lessons were conducted, and Xu Tingsheng had long since become proficient in it.
In these 40 minutes, a history lesson which had won first prize in a provincial education competition, <Diplomacy of New China>, was completely and smoothly revealed to everyone.
Xu Tingsheng threw the remaining half of chalk in his hand into the chalk box, patting the chalk dust off his hands.
“Thank you, students and teachers. Today’s lesson…interaction ends here. Finally, I wish to say that some students may hear some rumours regarding this interaction session afterwards, but I can completely say from the bottom of my heart that no teacher is a bad guy. My level of improvement is indeed worthy of suspicion.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled awkwardly.
“Actually, I did not suddenly improve this greatly. This month’s efforts, the right methods, as well as luck were all very important, but there was also the reason that I had not treated examinations seriously before, having fallen asleep in examination grounds several times. What does this mean? What I mean to say is that I actually wasn’t that lousy before. You may feel that my improvement was miraculous, but actually, if any of you were willing to flunk your examinations once, your improvement afterwards would be shocking as well.”
Knowing laughter resounded from down below. This explanation of Xu Tingsheng’s had mostly been because of his guilty conscience as he attempted to create a logical explanation for his sudden explosive improvement. From the looks of it now, it had worked out rather well.
“Finally, with the teachers and vice-chairman giving me as an ordinary student the chance to stand here on this stage and prove my innocence through this interaction session, this itself already makes clear that their hearts are not as narrow as one might think. On the contrary, their hearts are great, and they think truly for the benefit of the students.”
“Thank you. I end my words here.”
The silence beneath the stage persisted for a while.
“Clap, clap, clap.”
Someone stood up and began applauding, and the applause of this person took everyone by surprise, because she was Mrs Zhang Xiuyun.
“Xu Tingsheng, I’m very sorry,” Zhang Xiuyun said.
Xu Tingsheng’s reply was drowned out by the ensuing applause, with everyone present, Vice-Principal Lou included, standing up and applauding.
In his previous life, having gone for a competition and conducted those lessons in foreign lands, Xu Tingsheng had also heard much applause. At this moment, as applause resounded once more, whether it was out of politeness or following the crowd, even if some of these people were actually reluctant to do so, Xu TIngsheng was already unable to carefully consider this. Currently, innumerable thoughts filled his mind, also pervaded by countless emotions.
Another person whose mind was filled with innumerable thoughts was the new first ranked student in the entire year, Chen Yulun. Today’s after-school activity had truly been torturous to him.
Initially, he had been incomparably joyful at the thought of being able to expose Xu Tingsheng as having cheated. From the time Class 7 had entered the media classroom, he had been the most active one. While he had not personally asked any of the numerous tricky questions directed at Xu Tingsheng, many of them had originated from him.
The direction things had proceeded in afterwards had finally still gone against Chen Yulun’s wishes. Not only had Xu Tingsheng proven his innocence, he had even stood dazzlingly in the limelight once more.
Chen Yulun’s hatred towards Xu Tingsheng stemmed from that previous beating on the roof, even more so stemming from Xu Tingsheng having stolen his limelight.
Clearly, he, Chen Yulun, was the first in the entire year, having achieved this for the first time, being extremely proud of it. However, what had come to pass, in truth, was that no one had noticed this at all. No one had noticed him as the new first ranked student of the entire year, the limelight having been completely stolen away by Xu Tingsheng.
Chen Yulun was ranked first, while Xu Tingsheng was just ranked eleventh, and he believed that his looks were in no way inferior to the latter.
Chen Yulun very much wanted to ask, “Why, just where does the basis for this lie?”
Actually, this logic was very simple. Someone whose results had all along been good achieving first in the entire year for the first time, while being commendable, was also rather ordinary. However, Xu Tingsheng was different. Everything that had happened with him over this period of time could literally be considered a ‘legend’.
From singing on the roof of the dormitory in the middle of the night while playing the guitar, acting the hooligan and throwing a wine bottle towards the girl’s dormitory, to leaving behind the phrase that was emotionally deep to death ‘This world is so wide, I wish to experience it’, and unrestrainedly and coolly skipping classes for five days.
Next leading to heated discussion by letting out the words of getting into the top 20 of the entire year, not knowing the immensity of the heavens and the boundlessness of the earth.
Next having heat rush over to his head over a girl, clashing with Bao Ming and his bunch of infamous hooligans, taking down three people on his lonesome.
Next having been sent to the podium as a negative example, asked to reflect on himself.
Next carrying a few big boxes of isatis root and white vinegar that everyone was fighting over to purchase as he brought them into the school to give around.
Next having been the target of unquantifiable mockery having scored 62 marks on his Mathematics mock examinations, yet having two beauties consecutively stand up for him, leading to heated discussions once more.
Next having achieved a supreme turnaround and ranked 11th in the entire year, first in the entire city for Combined Humanities, his form teacher personally brewing tea for him, slapping the faces of all those who had mocked him.
Next having been suspected of cheating, yet slaying encroaching enemies all round with an interaction lesson that was incomparably splendid, causing Mrs Zhang to bow her head and apologise on her own accord, with a frenzied slapping of faces once more…
This was a ‘legend’.
Chen Yulin was unresigned but also helpless. While the arrogance within his heart could let him not jot down a single line of notes at all, pretending to be completely uninterested in the entire lesson, when everyone stood up and applauded, he could only follow their actions, perfunctorily clapping his hands a few times.
“Shouldn’t the applause be given to the first in the entire year?”
“Could it be that good results and good looks are insufficient for the girls? Why is it that there are no girls fighting over me, and even Song Ni, having liked me for 6 whole years, now completely ignores me?”
No one noticed Chen Yulun’s unhappiness.
“Talk about other subjects next.”
As someone shouted such, similar responses increased greatly. However, Xu Tingsheng could not do so. Were it other subjects, he would only be revealing his relative ignorance. He still understood the principle of leaving things while they were at their best.
Xu Tingsheng smiled apologetically, saying awkwardly, “Even mealtime is over. I’ve already taken up too much of everyone’s precious time; I really can’t go on any further.”
“The heck, acting like a big shot now?” Huang Yaming yelled ill-naturedly.
Xu Tingsheng shot him a furious glare before he substantiated, “If you have time, you can interact with me after your lessons. Today, I really don’t dare to take up any more of your time.”
“After-class interaction is the welfare of the female students; I estimate that there’ll not be any time for the rest of us,” Huang Yaming continued stirring things up loudly.
“That’s right. So many people from Class 10 came to show you own support; you really can’t account for it just like this. How about you treat the entire class to a meal?” Fu Cheng followed.
“I just tricked a meal out of the two of you; is there such great an enmity?” Xu Tingsheng felt greatly headached. It was only he himself who knew that it was not that he was unwilling to teach them further, but that if he were to speak on other subjects, it would only be adding feet to the painting of a snake, smashing his own great reputation.
However, the situation had already begun spiralling out of his control, as those of Class 10 began chanting collectively, “Meal, meal.”
Treat the entire class to a meal?
Xu Tingsheng couldn’t bear to fork out that money, also not wanting to make turn things into a celebration. That would be the death of him-death by embarrassment.
However, an ending phase definitely had to play out today, someone now shouting from beneath the stage, “How about you sing a song for everyone? Singing here would at least definitely be better than climbing to the roof and singing in the middle of the night, right?”
Reminded of Xu Tingsheng’s ‘glorious’ feat, laughter erupted beneath the stage as the students agreed with this proposal.
Helpless, Xu Tingsheng inhaled, “…, I’ll sing then.”
Applause rained down, before the area fell silent, waiting for Xu Tingsheng to begin.
What would he sing? Xu Tingsheng sifted through his mind, before thinking of a sentence that came very much in line with today’s situation: we are all good kids.
You say that we of Class 10 cheated? Let me tell you this-we are all good kids.
“The name of the song I will be singing for everyone is…we are all good kids. This is something I want to say to everyone on behalf of our Class 10, led by our good person leader, Old Zhou. We are all good kids, we are all in the process of striving diligently.”
Everyone of Class 10 responded happily in unison. The name of this song was really too alleviating. Haven’t you always said that Class 10 is lousy? Could it be that even when we improve, you will feel that it is because we cheated?
Actually, we are all good kids.
Sung by Xu Tingsheng in his slightly hoarse voice, the song which had originally been sung by a woman held a flavour of its own.
“Pushing open the window, looking at the white bird on the horizon
Thinking of your mint-flavoured smile
You were running on the school fields back then
Yelling loudly, I love you, do you know…”
There was no accompanying melody, but with the first stanza, the atmosphere here changed, becoming warm and ambiguous.
“This…is talking about school romance?” Some thought, “Your mint-flavoured smile, you were running on the school fields…isn’t this speaking of matters that occurred in school?”
Goethe said: Which young man does not love; which young woman is not smitten?
In one’s youth, how would there not be feelings of romance?
Many had already fallen into emotions of this kind. Correspondingly, Xu Tingsheng’s singing voice that could not be considered very outstanding grew to sound moving in their ears.
Wu Yuewei and Yao Jing both perhaps fell in a little deeper. Their faces were red, yet they were smiling blissfully, each feeling as though Xu Tingsheng on the stage was only singing to her and her alone, expressing of his feelings.
And while he was singing, Xu Tingsheng just had to individually glance very unnaturally a few times at the both of them.
It would be strange if they didn’t have wild thoughts with this.
Actually, Xu Tingsheng had also discovered that the situation was not right. He had initially chosen this song due to its name. However, when the initial lyrics emerged, he himself had first been rendered dazed. This completely wasn’t what he had wanted to express at all.
However, there was no way about it. He could only harden his mind and continue singing it. Luckily, a few lines that fit did appear in the lyrics:
“We were afraid of nothing then…
Just like this, forever never parting…
We are all good kids
Kids who believe in the inconceivable utmost
Believing that love, can be forever
We are all good kids
The most most kind-hearted kids
Thinking back on, what hurt us…”
The youthful times in which one believes in the inconceivable utmost-can we forever never part? Sooner or later, there will come a day of remembrance, thinking back on what once hurt us.
The atmosphere of graduation descended prematurely due to Xu Tingsheng’s song. Graduation-it is not just your lover from whom you may part, but also your treasured teacher and classmates, even those whom you had once hated and quarrelled with, even those whom you had hurt and been hurt by before…
Just as the eyes of some present had already begun reddening, Xu Tingsheng didn’t go on with the next part of the song, hastily bringing an end to it before turning and dashing madly away, leaving behind a panicked, fleeing back.