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我的“南开”缘

--写在“南开”百年校庆之前

高天明 (1977级)

gaotm
高天明作客凤凰网,2013年12月18日 。(参考凤凰网详细报道

上小学时,常听家父提及南开大学(简称“南开”)的杨石先校长。因为他曾在“南开”化学系进修过,所以对杨老先生十分崇拜,并从小就鼓励我要子承父业,将来争取到“南开”化学系去上学。

1971年我有幸考入天津外国语学校(简称“外校”),我们的班主任兼英语老师韩伯武先生就是“南开”的毕业生,记得当时从“南开”毕业的“外校”老师中还有孙毅兵(原名为孙学诗)和朱柏桐两位女中豪杰。他们严谨的治学作风给我留下了深刻的印象。

1975年从“外校”毕业后,我被分配到天津石油化纤厂工程指挥部的外事处工作,又与已从“南开”毕业的鲍志强和张振芳两位同事一起从事外事接待工作长达两年之久,并与他们逐渐发展成为知心的朋友。

这个化纤项目是周恩来总理1972年亲笔批准引进的“中国四大化纤项目”之一,旨在解决七亿中国人民的穿衣问题,并从1975年开始先后与美国、德国、日本等发达国家的石油化纤企业开展了一系列的项目谈判工作,此间我曾与同期入职的贾辉丰、张明德、张德文等“南开”应届毕业生共同为该项目从事过资料翻译和现场翻译等工作。

1976年唐山大地震之后,天津因受地震影响已不具备外事接待条件,我们的项目谈判只好从天津转移到北京、无锡、南京等地举行。此间,我又有幸与从“南开”借调来的李维树、刘岱业、张麦增等老师朝夕相处,转战南北长达一年之久。这些“南开”老师对工作的认真负责态度给我留下了难忘的印象。

1977年10月份的一天,当我正在南京双门楼宾馆参加对外谈判时,无意中从张振芳师姐那里得知:教育部决定从当年年底开始恢复全国“高考”,我们这些中专毕业生,不需要论资排辈,也可以直接报考大学了…….

我当时兴奋不已,马上向外事处领导请示能否调回天津工作,以便报名参加“高考”;然而得到的答复却是:单位将对你另有重用,建议你不要报考大学!无奈,我只好拜托张振芳师姐悄悄地为我在天津大港(即:天津大化纤项目所在地)考区报了名。

由于当时项目谈判工作已进入攻坚阶段,每天都要加班加点地工作到很晚,根本就没有时间复习准备高考;只是在临考试的前两天,领导才批准我乘火车回津参考。那时从南京乘火车返回天津需要至少一天一夜。在北上的火车上,我匆匆地翻看了两本政治和地理参考书,并在抵津后的第二天就赶鸭子上架到天津南郊的咸水沽中学参加了那次史无前例的高考。

当高考录取通知书下来后,外事处的领导再一次找我谈话并表情严肃地说:组织上已对你进行了政审,并拟派你陪同几位工程师到美国UOP公司去现场实习考察一段时间,如果办理护照签证手续顺利的话,预计1978年5月份就能成行…….因此希望你能暂时不要上学,全心准备赴美考察实习,不要辜负了领导和组织的希望…….

此时,我陷入了难以抉择的困境,不知如何是好。不少亲朋好友也奉劝我继续留在外事处工作并珍惜到美国现场实习考察的机会(因为当时尚未与美国建交,能够到美国现场实习考察的确是一个千载难逢的机会)。最后经与家父商议,决定还是选择继续上学深造,尽管因此我将不得不放弃每月56元人民币的工资收入和到美国现场实习考察的机会。

接下来我又陷入了择校的困境,“外校”的老师和同学们都希望我报考“北京一外”(即:现在的北京外国语大学),因为从那里毕业后可直接分配到外交部工作(当时学外语的学生最理想的工作单位就是外交部),而“南开”的老师和学长们却希望我报考天津南开大学,因为这是一所综合性大学,可以把知识面扩宽打牢,为将来全面发展奠定基础。在家父的支持下,我最后选择了南开大学,事实证明:我做了一个影响我一生的明智选择!

1978年2月,我如愿以偿地踏进了南开园并有幸师从常耀信老师(据李维树老师事后回忆:当年是他亲自把我们这批“外校”毕业生抢到“南开”的);同年五月份,我又被“南开”推荐参加了教育部组织的出国留学全国统考,遂于1980年被教育部公派前往美国留学,并先后攻读过美国乔治城大学的外交学士、纽约州立大学奥博尼分校的社会心理学硕士和纽约大学的公共管理博士。在美国留学的八年时间里,我曾多次接待过“南开”的校长或教师代表团以及访问学者等,并且从未中断过与“南开”老师和校友们的互动联系。

1991年到深圳香格里拉大酒店工作不久,就与“南开”旅游系李维树主任恢复了联系(他当时正在带领学生到深圳湾大酒店实习),并从此与“南开”旅游系的历届主任和老师结下不解之缘,一直延续到今天。2012年春季,我有幸被聘为“南开”MTA(旅游管理硕士)兼职导师,并从此坚持每年都为MTA授课一次,又与“南开”旅游学院的在校学生结下不解之缘。2012年夏季,在阔别美国24年之后,我再次以访问学者的身份重返美国校园,并继而加盟了高东山老师创建的“南开海外校友网”(即:“我们的英语网”),从此又与“南开”海外校友结下了不解之缘…….

回首本人四十多年的人生经历,几乎在我人生的每一个关键节点上都与“南开”有缘。冥冥之中,我似乎注定就是“南开人”。作为命中注定的“南开人”,我衷心地祝愿我们的母校继续践行“允公允能,日新月异”的校训,继续发扬“振兴中华、匹夫有责”的传统,继续坚持“中西合璧、文理兼顾”的方针,继续为中国和世界的和平发展培养出更多的复合型、国际型、创新型人才! “南开”是我心目中永远的母校!我为“南开”感到骄傲和自豪!不是因为她曾是共和国两任总理的母校,而是因为她曾为无数有志青年提供过实现梦想和改变命运的机会!在“拼爹”、“拼钱”、“拼权”盛行的今天,“南开”的“允公允能”光荣传统就显得更加弥足珍贵。“南开”,伟哉!伟哉,“南开”!

南开大学英语77级学生
高天明
2013年12月26日

P.S.
【另请参阅】我们“南开”英语77级同学蔡本通今天从美国加州发来的一篇英文叙事文!他的人生经历说明“南开”的求学经历有助于改变命运和实习梦想并不是天方夜谭。

Our First Days at Nankai

Ben Cai (1977 class)

I am sure we all remember that we entered Nankai in February of 1978.  At that time there were still lots of temporary, simple and poorly built houses on campus because there had been a strong earthquake.

After we moved into the dormitory in Nankai, I found out one interesting scenario, some students in our class already knew each other pretty well.  As we all know, more than half of the students in our class used to study at Waixiao (Tianjin Foreign Languages School), a few of us used to study at Foreign Trade School, and another few used to study at Teacher’s Training Program in Tianjin.  And some used to work in the same company or school.  I didn’t know anybody myself since I used to be a worker in a transportation company in Tianjin. Also I noticed that there were more girls than boys in our class. 

We had a group discussion on the first day, during which we introduced ourselves and talked a little about our feelings of becoming university students. Then we went to the big room 514 where Mr. Li Weishu (李维树) gave us a speech. He welcomed us warmly and told us what we would study during the next four years, and also he said we would need to take a written and an oral exam so that we could be placed into three small classes according to the test results.
In the afternoon, we took the written exam. At first it was a dictation. Ms. Wang Zhijie (王志洁) was reading and we were writing. Ms. Wang’s pronunciation and intonation were very good, I was saying in my mind, “University instructors are university instructors”. The dictation was about a man coming back home without a key, so he borrowed a ladder and tried to get into his house through the window, but the police came because they thought he was a burglar, something like that. I had never had any training in dictation, so I could not catch up. I could only write some of it. I happened to take a look at the student next to me, who was Zhang Jianxin (张建新), He seemed to be able to write everything with nice cursive handwriting. On the whole, the exam was not easy for me at all. Later I was surprised to learn that Yuan Haiwang (袁海旺)got 93 on that exam, which was the highest.

The next morning, it was the oral one. We were all sitting in a room waiting for Mr. Ning Hong (宁洪) to call one student at a time. When it was my turn, I walked into the other room where several instructors were sitting there ready to ask me questions. The questions were about what school I had gone to, what I had done and studied before, my life, family, and things like that. Mr. Liu Daiye (刘岱业) asked me more questions than others, Ms. Ma Zhenlin (马振铃) and Ms. Wang Zhijie both asked me some questions, Mr. Li Weishu and Mr. Chang Yuexin (常耀信) also asked me a few questions. I vaguely remember that Ms. Zhang Kaiping (张开萍) was there, too. But she did not ask me anything. They were all pretty friendly. 

In the afternoon, it was the second part of the oral test.  One student would go to another room and listen to a story on the tape recorder for 3 times, then he or she would go to retell it to the instructors. The story was about a large woman inviting a young man to dinner.  During the dinner the young man kept asking her some questions to show his appreciation for being invited to dinner, but he did not realize she was not amused. Finally she said if he had not asked so many questions, they would have both enjoyed the dinner a lot better. (By the way, we see and experience this kind of misunderstanding and miscommunications in our life a lot, right?)   I could hardly understand it. Later I found out some classmates could understand everything.  Then we split into 3 small classes and the first thing we were going to do, a week of hard labor, digging ditches on campus, but we had a lot of fun working together.  Those days just seemed to be like yesterday, can’t believe so many years have gone by since then.

I miss the good old days back in Nankai very much!

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