He Li Zhen’s bus ticket is in the afternoon the next day, she wakes up very early and tidies up her dorm room. Then she put the the sausage bread, which she bought yesterday, inside her backpack. She plans to eat it on the way.
Yang Cheng is a county-level city of P level, the area isn’t that big. There are only 70,000 people living there. It’s the first time for He Li Zhen to visit the area. Previously she had investigated a lot of materials but there’re differences from what she read and sees. She takes a coach first then gets on the rented car. On the way, she keeps on looking at the window.
These years Yang Cheng has progressed rapidly. There are lots of commercial buildings and factories built all around. Along the way, He Li Zhen could see the construction sites. It somehow affects the area. The rented car doesn’t have any air condition, but He Li Zhen doesn’t dare to open up the car as she is afraid of the ash.
Though she has looked through the news about this place but she is still shocked of what she sees all around. She never that lousy school.
The time she looks at the school from fifty or sixty meters away, He Li Zhen could sense a dense ruin atmosphere. It’s like a place that is unfilled for ten years. He Li Zhen walks toward the school gate, there’s no one around. The security guard stall seems to be just an ornament.
The school gate is not locked and closed . It seems to welcome her to to get in. There’s a sign in front of the school. “Yang Cheng Er Zhong”. The characters should be in black but because of the dust, now it looks dusky.
He Li Zhen stands in front of the school gate and hesitates whether she should get in or not.
This time several people are coming out of the school. He Li Zhen looks at them and senses that they are student. But they don’t wear any uniform. Among them, two female students are wearing a short skirt and thick make-up.
Several other students are holding their backpack on their back, they just pass by He Li Zhen. He Li Zhen turns her head and looks at them for a while. She gets in to the school.
The school building is simpler. The mathematic building is in the most inner area. On the left of the building is the canteen, and on the right is sport ground. The sport ground has two basketball fields and volley ball field. Now one of the basketball field is used by several students.
He Li Zhen looks over and notices that several male students take off his cloth and plays with their tops off. They seem to be feeling hot.
“………..” She looks over and turns her head. She walks to the mathematic building. She could smell the scent of the books. Now it’s a summer holiday, there’re few people around the school. He Li Zhen goes to the third floor and finds Grade 12’s administrative department. She knocks on the door and someone lets her in.
The office is rally small, there are five to six tables squeezed together. There are only two people inside the room. A man and a woman. The woman is browsing a webpage, the man lifts up his head and looks at her.
“A, hi. I am He Li Zhen.” He Li Zhen nods and introduces: “I’m a new teacher. Previously I’ve talked to head teacher Jiang. Today I want to check around.”
“New teacher?” That man flips open his book and looks at his calendar. He Li Zhen notices there is nothing on his calendar. He never writes anything.
But that man keeps on flipping it around, that female teacher just speaks up.
“Previously Lao Jiang mentioned it to us.”
He Li Zhen and that male teacher looks over and that female teacher puts down her mouse. She turns her head and says: “Language and literature department right?”
He Li Zhen nods: “Right, right.”
That male teacher also realizes it, “Ah, I remember it.” He slaps his head and says to He Li Zhen. “Oh right, you supposedly would be placed in our class.”
“What? You are—-“
That male teacher stands up and says: “I am Hu Fei. I’m the homeroom teacher of Grade 12.6. I am the mathematic teacher. You should be the replacement for Zhao Lao Shi (Teacher Zhao). You would be responsible for 12.4-12.6’s language and literature course.”
He says it and extended his hand. He Li Zhen shakes hand with him.
“Today head teacher Jiang isn’t here.” Hu Fei says.
“Ay, it’s okay. I’m just coming over to take a look.” I would start register after a week.”
“Em, then you could stroll around and get familiar to the environment.”
He Li Zhen nods.
She makes polite remarks and takes leave.
The time she is out of the office room, He Li Zhen’s mood turns better. Though the office is a bit old and small, yet she feels that those teachers are friendly. She comes outside of the office and passes the corridor. She goes to the grade 12’s classes.
Grade 12……. though it’s holiday, they should be having a self-study session? He Li Zhen walks around.
She walks toward the end of the corridor and except seeing there are several sleeping students, there’s no one sleeping around.
He Li Zhen walks around and goes downstairs.
After she leaves the school, she gives a call to the real estate agent. After a while, a real estate agent comes over with a motorcycle and takes her to look at several apartments.
Yang Cheng Er Zhong is closer to the city center so it’s quite easy to find apartment for rent. Moreover the apartment renting fee is much cheaper here, a month water and electricity fees are around 1000 Yuan. He Li Zhen settles on an apartment, which is nearest to the school. The apartment has one bedroom, one living room and one bathroom. It 40 meter square. The apartment is newly decorated and cleaner. But it’s in the first floor and it’s like in courtyard style. In the first floor there are living five to six families.
“In this floor, would there be worms or insects?” He Li Zhen is a bit worried.
“How could there be worms?” The real estate agent says. “You should tidy up your room cleaner a bit. Don’t leave any leftovers. The environment here is very well and safe. Most people have been living here for so many years.”
He Li Zhen nods and says: “I need to consider for a while, at last I would reply you tomorrow.”
“Then you should be quick.” The real estate agency says: “This kind of apartment is very in great demand. This apartment is newly decorated, I couldn’t keep it long for you.”
“Okay, sorry to trouble you.”
He Li Zhen is taken to see few other apartments. At last she still feels that the previous one is better. She pays for the down payment and agrees to sign the contract three days later.
He Li Zhen has not too many things so it’s so easy for her to pack her things around. She could put all of the things inside the a suitcase. When she comes over to occupy her newly rented apartment, an auntie (A Yi) notices her. She greets her.
“You are new resident?”
He Li Zhen nods: “Em, A Yi, Ni Hao (A Yi, hello).”
“Em.” The old auntie is wearing her nightclothes, she is holding her fan. “The apartment room just finishes its renovation, remember to open the window to let out the smell.”
“Okay, thank you.”
He Li Zhen cleans up the room for a day. She feels os tired. She lays on the hard bed and just sleeps without any blanket.
The next day when she wakes up, she feels her whole body is falling apart.
Two days later, He Li Zhen gets a call from the school. The administration process is done. She could go to the school tomorrow to report.
He Li Zhen puts down her phone and sits down on the stool. She looks at the bright spring day from her window. She feels so relaxed.
Everything is going smoothly, He Li Zhen thinks that this should be what-so-called new life. It makes her very much expecting it.
The day He Li Zhen goes to the school. There are several students coming over to the school though they are still have three days holiday.
Yang Cheng Er Zhong is a third-rate senior high school. Every part of it shows what a lousy it is indeed. The school has lack of good facilities and resources. For Grade 12, there are six closes, yet there are less than ten teachers. There are two language and literature teachers. Another language and literature teacher is an experienced one, she is a forty years old teacher called Liu Ying.
“Have you make a lesson preparation?” Liu Ying sits beside He Li Zhen’s side, she passes the class schedule to He Li Zhen.
He Li Zhen says: “Em, I already prepare everything for few days.”
Liu Ying looks at her. “Great, then your first lesson would be at the 12.6. You should be able to adapt to it soon.”
The first day of school, He Li Zhen wakes up early and goes to the school with a high spirit.
When she comes over, a lot of students are coming over to the school too.
The ceremony of the first day of school is held at the sport field, Though it’s already September yet, it’s too hot. The students are standing there under the burning sun. They are dispirited. During the ceremony, most of the students start to sit down on the ground and the female students also start to cover their head with their jacket.
At first the homeroom teachers scold them, yet afterwards they just let them be.
The headmaster is a fifty years old man, He Li Zhen has met him once. He is quite a weak man, he talks in slow manner. It makes He Li Zhen feels sleepy too.
Finally it ends. He Li Zhen goes to the restroom for a while to wash her face. The first period would start soon.
Being a teacher is He Li Zhen’s dream since she was a little girl. She really loves little kid. He Li Zhen moves her lips and says “Jia You (Fighting!)” to herself on the mirror. Then she walks toward the class 12.6.
The time she passes the corridor, her mood is going up and down. She meets a female teacher, who she met during her visit to the school, who calls Peng Qian. She says to He LI Zhen that the class is divided based on the achievement so people who are in 12.6, most of them have a bad achievement.
He Li Zhen stops in front of class 12.6, she wants to knock on the door and she just realizes that now she is a teacher. She stands up straight and gets inside the classroom.
She stands up on the stage and then look s around.
In the first day of school, the students are quite respectful. They say nothing and just looks at her.
He Li Zhen feels a bit nervous, she hides herself by lowering her head and opens up the student list. Then she notices that she hasn’t introduced herself. She pretends to be calm and closes the student list book first.
She clears her throat and says to the students: “Hi, everyone. My name is He Li Zhen.” She says and writes down her name on the board.
“I am the new language and literature teacher, in the past…….” At first she wanted to tell about that their previous teacher resigns because of something but she realizes that the students are looking at her without any expression. So she feels that it’s unnecessary to talk about that matter.
“Em, for next year, I would be teaching this language and literature subject.”