I - speech - Teacher Li

She has a high forehead, which now I think is also a high hairline. She wears a pair of glasses that give people a serious feeling at first glance. She is not tall. When she lectures, she will unconsciously add words like "uh" and "ah" at the pause of a sentence. She never smiles. She is very strict. After a long time, the naughty kids in the class secretly call her "the devil". The most common thing I hear is "the devil is here!" before her class starts. However, she teaches very seriously and is a good person. This is the image she left in my memory after a long time of washing.

The time I had the most interaction with her was because of a speech competition organized by the school, during the month of Lei Feng. As for why our class chose me to participate, I don't remember. Maybe it was just because my Mandarin was slightly better. She prepared a script for me. I read it during morning reading, during breaks, and after dinner, I went to her dormitory and stood in the yard, reading while she did housework and listened to me.

In junior high school, there were still words I couldn't read. When I came across the word "洗涤" (washing), she corrected my pronunciation. I don't remember if she told me to read it as "dí" or "táo", but whenever I read this word now, I still recall that scene and hesitate for a moment.

Unfortunately, despite my efforts to practice, even the class teacher let me practice in front of the class, with my classmates as the audience, and I simulated it several times, on the day of the competition, on the day I faced so many people's attention for the first time in my life (maybe most people didn't pay attention), on the day I stood on that high stage, I became nervous, scared, and retreated. I even forgot the words I had memorized beforehand. The paper was soaked with sweat in my hand, crumpled by me. My voice trembled, and I didn't know what I was saying. I simply picked up the script and read it mechanically and quickly. I just wanted to escape, to run away!

As expected, in this speech competition with a total of eleven participants, when the results were announced from first place to tenth place, I wasn't among them. I ended up in last place. It was such a funny situation. I followed the crowd in a daze, and then, this matter was not mentioned again.

What surprised me was that after that, I was still appointed for many similar tasks one after another, such as representing our class to give speeches under the national flag; for a period of time, the school had us read the "Three Character Classic" together before evening study, and I was the leader; then there was another speech competition, probably in the second year of junior high school, where I participated with another classmate. However, this time there were only judges and no audience, and we won the third prize. Even in a New Year's Eve party in our class one year, I was chosen as the host. These opportunities were given to me by another teacher I respected, but I won't go into detail here.

Speaking of Teacher Li, after that speech competition, during a Chinese morning reading session, she asked us to recite the text. Those who could recite it lined up to recite it to her. I was in the middle of the long line. We were still kids in the first year of junior high school, so it was inevitable that we liked to talk. I held the book in front of my face, saying things left and right. I couldn't escape her notice. She walked over with a fierce momentum, and the reading voices became quieter. She was very strict. I don't remember the specific criticism she gave me, but it must have been about my attitude towards learning. The reading voices of the whole class suddenly stopped, and I only remember that I was confused and felt wronged at that time. My eyes must have turned red. But what could I do? I was talking, and I was indeed at fault. It turns out that children need criticism to reflect on themselves.

In the second year of junior high school, she left. I don't know where she went, but she was no longer seen in the school. "I really want her to teach me again!"

Looking back on my interaction with her, it seems that there was no particularly deep emotional connection between teacher and student. However, in my later life, I can always think of her and reflect on my own behavior. She did have a great influence on me. I can't explain what kind of connection this is or the specific cause and effect relationship. I just believe that she was indeed one of my life mentors, and I shouldn't forget her name - Li Pinghua.

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