Seventeen years is enough time for a seed to grow into a towering tree, enough time for stones to drip through several holes. In seventeen years, some people may have forgotten the original oath, but some people still adhere to the original mind, such as Kang Lianxi, known as the “grandfather examinee”.
Kang Lianxi was a farmer in Liaoning Province who was born in the 1940s. Since that era was not as happy and stable as today’s, Kang Lianxi was not jolted by The Times even though he was an ordinary person. He has two elder brothers. The elder brother went to a private school, but he was not keen on study. The second brother entered high school and later became a worker in the county seat.
As the second brother from time to time to remind Kang Lianxi also know the benefits of reading, his heart since then has planted a seed, he wants to read, to change the plight through reading! From primary school to junior high school, Kang Lianxi’s grades have always been good, never falling out of the top two.
However, the society was in turmoil at that time, and Kang’s dream of entering a university was shattered. Because the college entrance examination had been stopped at that time, Kang could not make use of what he had learned. But even so, Kang has never stopped learning, and he believes that when the sky is bright, the moon is bright.
In 2001, the Chinese government relaxed the age requirements for the college entrance examination, and Kang’s desire to study began to rise again. The first year he missed the registration, the second year he arrived at the admission office as a former student. Unfortunately, the content taught at school was very different from that of his generation, Kang had only a few books he had found in secondhand bookstands, and he did poorly on the college entrance exam the first time.
Kang didn’t think of giving up, even though he was hit by the shock. He decided to go to the village to teach for two years, studying while working. However, the principal soon dismissed him because he was incompetent. Kang Lianxi had to find work everywhere, sometimes as a mason, sometimes as a janitor. Accustomed to living alone, Kang developed a withdrawn personality and never found a stable job, let alone get married and have children.
Fortunately, the house that the second brother had left in the country was uninhabited, so Kang Lianxi moved in and finally found a place to live. It’s just that the house is old and out of repair. The only one that has electricity is a flashlight. Kang, 72, has been taking the gaokao for 19 times since 2002. Of course, he has been on the list once over the years. In 2009, he got 303, the highest score, and was admitted to a junior college, but Kang was not interested in the major he was admitted to and gave up the opportunity.
For Kang, being on the exam list is no longer an important thing. He now feels that the most important thing is to keep coming to the exam hall every year to keep appointments, which has become his spiritual sustaining.
Maybe a lot of people don’t understand Kang Lianxi’s obsession, but those who had a dream were snuffed out, and hope came after a period of time, and everyone would want to go. Especially for farmers, they may really have no other way out except to study. Reading is a lifelong thing, and without reading, they may really find no future. Kang Lianxi’s insistence every year is to draw a full stop to the past life, so as to compensate for his lost youth.