Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Great Role Model
Zhou Yuan didn’t even have one little red flower because the most fruitful method to procure a little red flower was to finish lunch. Lunch consisted of a vegetarian dish, meat, soup, and fruit.
The vegetarian dishes were usually stir-fried cabbage or spinach, and the meat dishes were stir-fried meat, diced chicken, or diced rabbit. The fruit changed every day.
Zhou Yuan was a very picky eater. He didn’t indulge in meat with a lot of fat, and he found no enjoyment from moldy cabbage or spinach. However, he did eat the fruit.
Therefore, he would always leave a portion of his meal unfinished.
That was why he had never received a little red flower. It could be stated that he was quite different.
By the same token, he had never raised his hand to answer any questions like the other children because it confounded and abashed him. He didn’t want to trouble himself with questions such as what one plus one was equal to.
Little Miaomiao looked at the little crimson flowers for a while, and then she looked at Zhou Yuan who was sitting next to her. He signed the words ‘Zhou Ming’ on the parent’s signature column on his paper.
Little Miaomiao pursed her lips.
His father doesn’t sign his paper?
Although Little Miaomiao couldn’t comprehend the significance of this, she deduced that this was a very bad thing.
Soon, the rest of the children came one after the other. As they sauntered past Zhou Yuan’s table, they greeted him. Little Miaomiao also greeted them, “Good morning.”
Zhou Yuan observed her actions from the side and realized that Little Miaomiao had made a lot of progress. When she had first arrived, her voice trembled with fear and consternation during their first conversation, but now she had no problem greeting others.
In math class, due to her prior experiences, Little Miaomiao rushed to respond to the question again.
This time, the math teacher remembered her and said, “Little Miaomiao gets another little red flower.”
As he spoke, he went to pin a small, sanguine flower next to her name.
Little Miaomiao noticed that there were three sanguine flowers adjacent to her name, but there were none next to Zhou Yuan’s name.
She wanted to go and take a little scarlet flower adjoined to her name and pin it next to Zhou Yuan’s name.
Meanwhile, Zhou Yuan buried himself in a magazine, and then he espied Little Miaomiao’s odd behavior. Although she had always thrown clandestine glances in his direction from time to time, she kept doing it more with increasing frequency today.
When she raised her hand to answer a question, she would peek at him.
After she answered the question and sat back in her seat, she would peek at him.
After writing for a while, she would peek at him.
Given his intelligence, Zhou Yuan surmised the reason behind this.
Was it because she could draw strength from me?
I guess, in her mind, I’m almost like a role model.
Zhou Yuan straightened his back and continued to read with joy. The magazine he was reading was titled “Tsinghua Management Review” which he took out of his father’s study. His mother forbade him from reading such material. She believed he couldn’t comprehend it; furthermore, she believed that children who pretended to be adults would forgo all enjoyment of their childhood years.
But Zhou Yuan believed that even if he couldn’t understand it, the whole learning process was a type of enjoyment in itself. After all, weren’t these children also absorbing knowledge step-by-step? Weren’t they also gradually understanding what they couldn’t understand before?
He just substituted ‘addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and pinyin’ with more profound knowledge; therefore, he had never abandoned his joy of learning as a child.
Zhou Yuan inferred that he could indeed serve as a role model that Little Miaomiao could look up to.
So, he straightened his already straightened waist even more.
His little tablemate could observe him as much as she wanted. He was willing to offer her spiritual guidance.
The students were also rewarded with a little crimson flower during their physical education class. Although Little Miaomiao didn’t dread their P.E. teacher like before, she had never received a little red flower from this class.
To get a little red flower in physical education, one had to volunteer and stand in front of the other students to lead the exercises. Currently, they were using loudspeakers to convey the exercises to the children.
Of course, Zhou Yuan didn’t get a little crimson flower either. He had no interest in standing before a group of elementary school children and jumping like a monkey.
Although, he did memorize all of the exercises.
Little Miaomiao was shorter than most of her classmates. So, she stood on the far right side of the first row, next to Jingjing.
Jingjing was a chatterbox. She kept chatting with Little Miaomiao incessantly from the moment they formed a row.
“Miaomiao, my mother said we’re going to the hot springs this weekend. Have you ever bathed in hot springs before?” Jingjing asked.
Miaomiao was a little puzzled, “What are hot springs?”
“A hot spring is a big pool filled with hot water, and we stand inside of it. There are people who keep the fire burning under the pool to make the water warm.”
In the P.E. classes, boys and girls stand in separate rows based on their height – from short to tall.
Therefore, Little Miaomiao and Zhou Yuan stood diagonally to each other. The two girls whispered to each other, but Zhou Yuan couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Eventually, the P.E. teacher said to Jingjing, “No more talking. Let’s start the exercises. Are there any volunteers willing to stand in front and lead the exercises? They will be rewarded with a little red flower.”
Little Miaomiao nervously squeezed her hand. She wanted to raise her hand and obtain a little red flower.
Once she procured this little red flower, she would have four of them in total. And since she had four, she could divide them in half and pin two of them next to Zhou Yuan’s name.
There was a difference between standing in front of the class to lead the exercises and answering a question in class. She only had to stand up briefly in order to answer a question during class, whereas leading the exercises required prolonged standing in front of her classmates.
And most importantly, not everyone was familiar with the routines. She feared that if she went up and did something wrong, then she would incur the mockery of her classmates.
So, there were very few children who volunteered. Little Miaomiao hesitated for a transitory moment.
No one raised their hand.
The P.E. teacher asked again once more, a little aggressively this time, “Will anyone come up to lead the exercises?”
Little Miaomiao detected a slight grievance in his voice because none of her classmates cooperated with him.
She felt that if she was in the P.E. teacher’s shoes, she would also be very sad and indignant.
So, Little Miaomiao raised her hand.
“Come up, Little Miaomiao, it doesn’t matter if you do something wrong. It’s wonderful that you’re brave enough to stand here.”
There was no doubt that the P.E. teacher wasn’t very apt at expressing words that inspired others, but he still tried to offer encouragement to her.
Little Miaomiao’s legs shook with fear, but she still traversed before everyone. Her heart pulsated rapidly.
Immediately, her eyes fell upon Zhou Yuan, and her heart filled with purpose.
I have to get him two little red flowers.
Zhou Yuan saw her look at him, and then he seemed to relax a little. His spirits lifted.
Sure enough, I am my little tablemate’s role model.
The author has something to say:
Zhou Yuan who doesn’t even have a single red flower and still fancies himself as the role model for his little tablemate who had three red flowers.
TN: Hope you guys enjoy reading Miaomiao and Zhouzhou’s story.
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