Time slips away whether we like it or not, and upon looking back we find that the past is partly hidden in memory and partly visible. City skyscrapers are rising high into the sky and the streets are growing wider and flatter, with pedestrians walking fast. The clang and rhythm of the streets are accompanied by the unease that comes with change. With the pressures that we face, how can we find a tranquil corner for a rest?

In 1992, I was transferred from the army to work at the Municipal Cultural Bureau in Huzhou. After that, I quit my job and decided to work for myself. I made money by driving rickshaws. I drove taxis. I also ran a factory and a company. In the summer of 2007, I sold my two companies and returned to my hometown that I had left 20 years before, and started farming lake sheep, a kind of sheep raised in Zhejiang Province.

Ou Yangxiu, a literary giant of China’s Song Dynasty, once said: "The first step toward establishing oneself in society is getting educated, and the foundation of this is reading." Meanwhile Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German writer, said: "Reading all kinds of good books is like talking to many noble people." As a mother who was out of school for decades, I have often been asked why I chose to return. I think the maxims of those two sages are the perfect answer for me; external beauty fades, but the elegance and calm of those who have kept reading will never disappear.

My name is Deng Xin. I am a hostess at the Shaxian County Radio and Television Station, and a graduate of the Shaxian county workstation at the Fujian branch of the OUC.
Twenty years ago, I graduated from a secondary specialised school and became a hostess. I loved my job, and worked hard to learn the correct forms of pronunciation and expression through imitation. In this mindless way, a hostess can achieve a certain level of external accomplishment, but a genuine understanding of politics and culture cannot be imitated.

Many experiences fade from memory over time. There are always characters and moments, however, that linger in our minds.
Today I want to share two unforgettable stories from my time studying at the OUC.

An old saying goes: “Never forget why you started, and you will succeed”. It has been made famous by General Secretary Xi Jinping of the CPC Central Committee. So what was my goal when I began?
As a child in the mountain city of Chongqing, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. I graduated from secondary school at 18 and became a kindergarten teacher, as I had wished, and fondly imagined that my dream had come true. Only after 20 years of teaching did I realize that it had been just the first step. Learning has been a constant throughout my professional career.

About a month after I was born, a lymphatic tumor in my hand cost me half of my right arm. As I grew older, I learned that I was different from other children, who often made fun of me for being disabled, and over the years I have had to get used to the constant glances of strangers.

Ladies and gentleman, my name is Tang Zhijie, and I am 80 years old. I am a retired senior engineer who used to work with metallurgical machinery for the Shougang Group. I was often called "Teacher Tang", and I have a story to share with you about this.