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Contents Page: April 1, 2011, vol 7 no 1

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JQ Zheng



During the Cultural Revolution in China, after graduating from the foreign languages high school, we were forced to go to the countryside to receive the reeducation from the poor and lower-middle peasants. We learned to till the cottonfields, plant rice seedlings with fingers, and reap the crops. At night, our life was as flat as our farm work, tasteless as rice and pickled turnips we ate everyday. No books to read, no cards to play, no dream to make. Work, eat, sleep for next sunrise to work. Fortunately, Pigsy had a semiconductor radio made by his self-learning and teaching brother. Lying in bed and smoking, we would switch to the shortwave to listen to the Voice of America for our listening comprehension of English, but after the whole day's farm work, we could never concentrate. Sometimes we caught a couple of familiar words from the deep voice of a news announcer before we fell asleep.

autumn night
we lie on rice stacks
counting stars


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