Old Class 3 of Chongqing First High School of 1981-82
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Many of us Old Class 3 students might have forgotten this little history. It was a short, interesting, yet a bit disturbing experience to the young and vulnerable hearts of the teenage boys and girls, more than 20 years ago. In September 1981, the best middle school students in Chongqing were recruited by Chongqing First High School. The Chinese school system is such that students in a class stay in the same class throughout the years in that school. But at the end of the first year, around June 1982, Class 3 was chopped into pieces by the school and the students in this class were added to Classes 1 through 6. The new Class 3 was formed as a Humanities and Social Studies class (where students were meant to enter colleges studying non-Science desciplines). To differentiate from the official new Class 3, the name Old Class 3 was created underground and used among these students, a name unknown to other students or any teachers, much less parents. We, these students, had a vague, inexplicable, immature resentment and felt disgrace and insult on this management decision. Why us? Why not class 1, 2 or 4...? Why not all classes a little bit? Was it because of our academic record? Didn't look like so. There was probably political argument among teachers and school officials. No speculation or investigation is possible now since some teachers have since passed away or otherwise difficult to locate. What's left is a mark on these young kids' mind that had lasted, fortunately or hopefully, for no more than two years. Friendship in the new classes made newcomers feel home. In summer 1984, Old-Class-3-ers were able to leave First High School and enter colleges just as competitively as those that stayed in their classes for the whole three years.
There's not much relevance to this Old Class 3 today, at least not as much as in the mission proposed at the little known 1983(?) "secret" Erling Park Old Class 3 meeting (Do you still remember it?). But the legacy is a unique alumni list, not of the whole school or class, but a selection from each class that have something in common.
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