Personal History, Due Sep 7, 2004
By Gang Wu, For Journalistic Writing, Jour 607
It has been only 29 years since I came to this world. Yet the earlier years of my life seem so vague now when I look back, as if they are fragments scattering along immeasurable distances.
I do remember those half-demolished earth-built houses behind my old house, where a dozen kids in the neighborhood played hide-and-catch. I remember the haunting bats hanging on the ceiling of a giant cave on a nearby mountain. I also remember the small river winding through the heart of the town, where I went to swimming three times a day in my fifth grade of elementary school – on my way back from school at noon, my way to school after lunch, then evening after school again. I was thrilled when I found swimming in and out of the then crystal clear water was like flying in the weightless universe.
I believe my love toward the beauty and myths of nature started from my very early years, as I often looked into the sky to watch the clouds during the day and the stars in the night. I remember the four shooting stars I spotted on a summer night when three boys and I sneaked out of the classroom teamed with students preparing for the national College Entrance Examination. I told the guys we would be blessed by the shooting stars. It was not easy to enter college at that time as less than half of the students would usually pass. But we did make it.
My hometown, located in the mountainous southwestern China, shrank away as I grew bigger and bigger and stepped out at 19 to big cities, first Wuhan, then Beijing. I got my first Bachelor’s degree in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, majoring in English. In 1998 I moved on to Beijing, where I spent another two years to get a second Bachelor’s in China School of Journalism, majoring in international journalism. After graduation in 2000, I began my reporting career at China Daily, the sole national English-language newspaper in China. This lasted till this August when I quit my job and embark on a graduate program in the University of Nevada, Reno, in the United States.
These steps are seemingly simple. But how many efforts I have put in and how much hardship I have sustained at every jump are known only by myself. I do not want to mention them again. Sometimes I thought life is interesting, you never know where you are going and what you will eventually be. In my childhood I have always been dreaming to be a scientist. In my high school I chose to be a science-oriented student. But later my scores of my college entrance examination did not qualify me to be a computer science major. Then I switch to English, a liberal art subject I had always been good at during high school. I am such a complicated person. On one hand, I could score 142 on a 150-point scale in physics. On the other hand I could barely pass a math test.
The complication has been clearing up these years. I know I no longer want to be a scientist or engineer working on formulas and equations. I found an interesting world in human being. The culture and history of various nations, the happiness or sadness of individuals, the wit and foolishness of people all contributes to a colorful world of human society. As a journalist, I will be happy to watch them, as if watching the starry sky.