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Three Stories Told by Ma Cheng in Weekend Class

Did you know what really happened before a TV show starts?

An anxious audience, whispers, or just silence and darkness?

It doesn’t matter. Everyone was waiting for a person.

The lights were on. The microphone was on. The camera was on.

A girl gently walked on the stage with a confident face, a gorgeous Chinese minority costume and a passionate heart.

She is Ma Cheng, a girl with great ambition and many stories.

Ma Cheng, a freshman student at USST, is now studying Journalism and Communication at the College of Communication and Art Design. In June, she made a speech on a TV show called “Weekend Class” organized by the Shanghai Education Television Station. Her enthusiastic words in the speech deeply impressed all in the audience, especially the three stories that shaped her thoughts and wishes.

Here are the three stories in Ma Cheng’s speech:

The first impression: the progress of her hometown is one epitome of China’s development

Before her university life in Shanghai, Ma Cheng lived in her hometown, Yunnan. Yunnan is a border province that lies in the southwest corner of China. More than a dozen years ago, because of the hilly terrain and unfavorable location, the traffic and transportation conditions in Yunnan were not convenient enough. “It takes six to eight hours by train to travel from Dali to Kunming. If the provincial highway is chosen, it will take much longer,” said Ma Cheng.

However, in recent years, the Chinese government has implemented a project of highway construction and it just takes two hours now to travel between these two cities.

“At that time, I felt that our destiny was closely related with our country. The growth and innovation in Yunnan is just one thing that epitomizes our country’s common prosperity and growth.”

The second thought: What really astonishes her is the invisible ties between people.

In her second story, Ma Cheng introduced her friend’s experience. Her friend is planning to teach in a far village called “Dulong”. What really astonishes Ma Cheng is the harsh environment and the invisible ties between people in that area. “Local police have helped to build an elementary school for the kids. However, surrounded by steep hills and other threats, local policemen can’t always maintain their own lives. At the back of police station is just the graveyard for them.” When she was a little girl in the junior high school, Ma Cheng made the decision to study journalism and communication in the future. So, she was always willing to learn about these stories and trying to help those kids. “If I can become a graduate student in the future, I will do the same thing.” Ma Cheng said. A Master’s degree is the basic requirement for becoming a volunteer teacher in that region. When it comes to the current situation in Dulong village, Ma Cheng expressed her own ideas. “They should live in a safer place. Maybe migration is a good idea, but we should also take border problems and their willingness into consideration. After all, they don’t want to leave their hometown. At the same time, the border dispute in that region is also very sensitive.”

The third story: Her future and wishes

Ma Cheng has decided to become a volunteer teacher in the future, but she can’t wait to approach the kids in the mountains. The school has a project called “There are Kids in the Mountains”, and she is willing to be part of it. “The project helps the kids from Dazu Village, Lugu Lake to sell farm products. All revenues will be used to promote the local kids’ medical care system and support their studies. Poverty alleviation is not to give them food or money. However, it’s a question of giving them a real method of making a living,” Ma Cheng said. By using these methods, kids can also possess spiritual wealth. “A rainbow always emerges from clouds after torrential rains. Happiness is always here to come after hardship and endeavor.” That is the wish of Ma Cheng to those kids and herself.

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