Mr 271. 2nd in the cohort. (But like Croatia, it’s not his name that’s going into the records. Cruel but thats the way it is.) Anyhow we are here to talk about his brilliant strategy, which of course came as a revelation only after the day we sent Henry off to Australia. Pretty surprising considering we knew each other since Primary 5, and this hasn’t been brought up until now. It started off with me sharing how chinese movie lines, song lyrics and proverbs/idioms were used as jokes in my “ole ole” group, and somehow flowed to Rico saying that he suspected the marks his essay got was proportionate to the number of 成语 he included. (Says a lot about our education system but lets not get into that now). It is still etched in his mind our classmate LWZ would always gets first, but in the prelims he managed to write 22 成语 and completed it with time to spare, and was so proud that his essay scored the highest and was presented to the class (anonymously)
Back in those days, (not that I can remember), part of the chinese paper was an essay question, either a 继续文 (continuation of a scenario) or a 命题 (topic), and Rico devised a brilliant strategy to tackle this part of the examination. He would always pick the 继续文, and regardless of the scenario could always fit in his plot template. Since half of the marks of the essay was based on “language”, something to do with vocabulary, flow of sentences and not making any mistakes in writing the characters, Rico thought of a brilliant way to ensure consistency – preparing 2/3 pre-planned plots which was structured around several 成语 and 俗语, the order of which was pre planned. The gist of the pre-planned plot would be an issue arising, (which was usually already the case in the examination question, not something completely out of the blue since we were just primary six) and the protagonist being accused of being the culprit when he was innocent and it was in fact a side character that was guilty. A person of authority would then admonish the protagonist without first investigating clearly, and the protagonist would then triumphantly prove his innocence and everyone learnt a valuable lesson. (As I pointed out to him it’s so obvious that this is an idealistic version of his life but that’s an inside joke for us)
As demonstrated above, all he needed to do was craft two-three sentences which would ensure that the given scenario would fit into his template, which I thought was amazing. Then again I couldn’t remember how I tackled it myself so perhaps my method was even more brilliant but would forever be lost in the sands of time. Anyhow, here’s an example of the template and the flow of his “佳句”.
Scenario: Whether it’s a a scream in the supermarket, an injured bird, something missing etc.
Side character 1 (小林）胡作非为/ 得意忘形
Protagonist （小明）觉得是司空见惯的事 (if applicable)
(Action taken depending on exam question)
小林执迷不悟，不可救药 if he wants the side character to stay bad
一石二鸟/一举两得 if 小明 gets an ice cream etc (As Rico admits himself, a bit forced)
How do I usually end these? I don’t know…