Ed­u­ca­tion from Role Mod­els

不言之教

Special Focus - - Contents - Zheng Xinyi 郑心仪

“How did the schol­arly cou­ple Qian Zhong­shu and Yang Jiang ed­u­cate their daugh­ter, Qian Yuan?” a jour­nal­ist once asked Qian Jin­gru, whose grand­fa­ther, Qian Ji­hou, was the twin brother of Qian Jibo, Qian Zhong­shu’s fa­ther.

“They hardly ever had to worry about her,” Qian Jin­gru waved her hand as she replied, “Qian Yuan was so cute. You know, she was a sight for sore eyes.” Qian Yuan was two years older than Qian Jin­gru, and they played to­gether while tak­ing refuge in Shang­hai against the back­drop of the es­ca­lat­ing anti-Ja­panese War.

It was the first time Qian Yuan had been to China since her birth. When the whole fam­ily landed from their ocean trip, Qian Zhong­shu headed straight for the Na­tional South­west As­so­ci­ated Uni­ver­sity, while Yang Jiang ar­rived in Shang­hai with their one- year- old daugh­ter, stay­ing al­ter­na­tively at Qian’s home or Yang’s.

“She didn’t know how to greet peo­ple, or even how to speak. She could only move side­ways with both hands brac­ing against the wall, walk­ing with a fast pace,” Yang Jiang ex­pressed her guilt in de­scrib­ing Qian Yuan at that time in her prose col­lec­tion We

Three , “As her mother, I think I should be re­spon­si­ble for her weak­nesses. I was too book­ish to dis­ci­pline her.” In fact, Yang was re­ally just too busy to take care of her daugh­ter be­cause of her po­si­tion as the prin­ci­pal and the third grade English teacher at Suzhou Zhen­hua Mid­dle School Shang­hai Branch. Qian Yuan wished to play with her mother, but any­time she went to her mother, she al­ways seemed to be grad­ing a thick stack of pa­pers. In re­sponse, lit­tle Qian Yuan would “stick out her small fat fist as if she was go­ing to hit those pa­pers, tears swelling up in her eyes.”

Re­gard­less of her mother’s lack of dis­ci­pline on her, she was very self-dis­ci­plined. Shortly af­ter her ar­rival in China, she con­tracted dysen­tery due to con­tam­i­nated food. Af­ter that, she never touched what adults told her not

“钱锺书和杨绛怎么教育钱瑗?”记者问过钱静汝,她的爷爷钱基厚与钱锺书的父亲钱基博是孪生兄弟。

“不用管,不用管,”钱静汝连连摆手,“钱瑗真的乖,大家都喜欢她。”钱瑗比钱静汝大两岁,两人在上海避难时曾一起玩耍。

那是钱瑗出生后第一次回国。钱锺书一上岸就直赴昆明西南联大,杨绛带着1岁多的钱瑗来到上海,有时挤居钱家,有时挤居杨家。

“不会叫人,不会说话,走路只会扶着墙横行,走得还很快。这都证明我这个书呆子妈妈没有管教。”在《我们仨》里,杨绛回忆起钱瑗刚回国时的模样,掩不住地自责。但回国后,杨绛也没有更多工夫去管教钱瑗。她被派去做上海振华分校的校长,还兼任高三的英文教师,格外忙碌。钱瑗盼着跟妈妈玩,只能晚上趴在桌边看她改大沓课卷,看着看着,“就含着一滴小眼泪,伸出个嫩拳头,作势打课卷”。

妈妈不管自己,钱瑗就自己管自己。她回国不久就吃坏了肚子,得了痢疾。只要大人告诉她什么东西不能吃,她就不吃,看着大家吃,一个人乖乖坐在旁边玩。再大一点,钱瑗就会自己爬楼梯找表姐玩。一张小桌子,两只小椅子,两个孩子面对面坐着,表姐读上下两册《看图识字》,钱瑗就旁听。杨绛看钱瑗这么喜欢,也为她买了两册。结果一天晚上,杨绛一回家,就被叫去,“快来看圆圆头念书”。钱瑗把杨绛买的书倒过来拿,却从头念到底,一字不错。原来,她每天坐在小表姐对面旁听,认的全是颠倒 的字。

杨绛的父亲杨荫杭知道了这件事,对杨绛说:“过目不忘是有的。”钱瑗特别得外公疼爱,午睡时总和外公睡一张床,还枕着外公特别宝贝的小耳枕。要知道,杨绛姊妹兄弟,没有一个和杨荫杭一床睡过。钱锺书祖父钱福炯百岁冥寿时,钱锺书、杨绛带着钱瑗回到无锡老家。这次家人相聚,钱基博惊奇地发现,钱瑗是“吾家读书种子”,得意非 凡。爷爷、外公都对钱瑗格外疼爱。

钱锺书总说女儿“刚正,像外公;爱教书,像爷爷”。此话应无错:钱基博曾自述做蒙师是家传,钱瑗生前就在北京师范大学英语系做教授;杨荫杭曾在欢迎某军阀的名单上看到自己的名字,立即登报声明自己没有参与欢迎,钱瑗亦在 某会议上直言父亲并没有推荐某专家的著作。

但钱瑗大概最想自己像的,该是爸爸与妈妈。她去世后,友人曾回忆起这样一段往事:“她从不以家庭背景骄人,只是非常感激父母给她的不言之教。我听钱瑗讲过她在家受教的生动故事:她读初中时,家住在中关村。有个晚上停电,父母就坐在黑地里谈论诗文。钱瑗在一旁听得入迷:‘我当时想,古诗这么有味道,第二天便找一本杜诗来读。读读,好像也不那么有劲。有不懂的,去问爸爸,爸爸却说:诗哪是好讲的?去去去去!我读英文也是这样,有问题去问爸爸,爸爸从不直接回答,总是推给我许多许多本字典,叫我自己去查。查查,查到一半也就找到答案了。有时实在书都翻遍了,还是不明白,再问爸爸,爸爸才告诉我。所以,我从小养成独立学习的习惯。’”

在《坐在人生的边上——杨绛先生的百岁答问》中,有这样一组问答:

“您认为怎样的教育才算‘好的教育’?”

“我体会,‘好的教育’首先是启发人的学习兴趣、学习的自觉性,培养人的上进心,引导人们好学和不断完善自己。要让学生在不知不觉中受教育,让他们潜移默化。这方面的榜样作用很重要,言传不如身教。”

(摘自《环球人物》2018 年第 16 期)

to eat, and just re­mained seated in peace to the side, watch­ing ev­ery­body eat. As she got a lit­tle older, she could climb up stairs to have fun with her cousin. There was a small desk, two small chairs, and the two kids would sit face to face. While the el­der cousin sis­ter read the two-vol­ume primer Learn­ing How to Read Based on Pic­tures , Qian Yuan lis­tened care­fully. Yang bought a copy for her when she learned that lit­tle Qian re­ally loved read­ing. One night, the mo­ment Yang was back home, she was asked to check out how “the round- headed” ( Qian’s nick­name) read the book. Qian was hold­ing the book up­side down, but went over the page without mak­ing any mis­takes. Her funny read­ing habit was formed from her daily prac­tice—the book was placed be­tween the two girls, with the el­der cousin read­ing top down and Qian fol­low­ing her bot­tom up, up­side down!

Af­ter Yang Yin­hang, Yang Jiang’s fa­ther, learned the story, he ex­claimed, “She is such a lively case of pho­to­graphic mem­ory!” Qian was the ap­ple of her grand­fa­ther’s eye. She al­ways slept on the same bed with him dur­ing af­ter­noon naps, and used her grand­fa­ther’s most trea­sured pil­low. Even his own chil­dren, in­clud­ing Yang Jiang, never have the priv­i­lege of shar­ing the same bed with their fa­ther. When lit­tle Qian’s par­ents took her back to their home­town Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Qian Fu­jiong ( Qian Zhong­shu’s grand­fa­ther), Qian Jibo was sur­prised at Qian Yuan’s tal­ent, and gladly con­cluded that Qian Yuan was a born book lover in their fam­ily. Both her pa­ter­nal and ma­ter­nal grand­fa­thers cher­ished her dearly.

Qian Zhong­shu al­ways said that Qian Yuan was as up­right as her ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther and was an adamant ed­u­ca­tor like her pa­ter­nal grand­fa­ther. His de­scrip­tion was true, as could be demon­strated in two facts: Qian Yuan be­came an English pro­fes­sor at Bei­jing Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity—as in Qian Jibo’s own state­ment, act­ing as a teacher en­light­en­ing chil­dren had been the tra­di­tion in his fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions. Qian Yuan once hon­estly claimed in a con­fer­ence that her fa­ther didn’t rec­om­mend a cer­tain ex­pert’s works, just as her ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther once

saw his name on the list of a wel­come cer­e­mony for a cer­tain war­lord, and he im­me­di­ately made a pub­lic an­nounce­ment to the news­pa­per that he didn’t at­tend the cer­e­mony.

Nev­er­the­less, Qian Yuan prob­a­bly most loved to fol­low her par­ents’ ex­am­ples. Af­ter she passed away, her friends re­called, “She never put on an ar­ro­gant air for her fam­ily back­ground, but al­ways felt grate­ful to her par­ents for their good ex­am­ples. She told me a story about her ed­u­ca­tion at home. When Qian was in ju­nior mid­dle school, one night there was a power out­age in her home lo­cated in Zhong­guan­cun. In the dark, her par­ents dis­cussed po­etry, to which Qian was so at­tracted that she came to be­lieve an­cient po­etry was full of charm. The fol­low­ing day she started a poem col­lec­tion by the Tang­poet Du Fu (712-770), but found the po­ems were not in­ter­est­ing as such. She asked her fa­ther about some­thing be­yond her un­der­stand­ing, but he replied, ‘ My silly lit­tle crea­ture, how can a poem be ex­plained!’ Qian once said, ‘ When­ever I had some prob­lems with English, my fa­ther never an­swered my ques­tions di­rectly, but he would rec­om­mend a dic­tio­nary in­stead. I learned to solve prob­lems and an­swer ques­tions on my own. Un­less I failed to work out the dif­fi­culty af­ter con­sult­ing books, my fa­ther would not help me out. There­fore, I de­vel­oped a habit of in­de­pen­dent think­ing dur­ing child­hood.”

The ar­ti­cle “In the Twi­light Years—the In­ter­view of Pro­fes­sor Yang Jiang, the Cen­te­nar­ian,” doc­u­mented a se­ries of ques­tions and an­swers. Among them, one goes, “How do you de­fine ‘a good ed­u­ca­tion’?”

“As I see it, ‘a good ed­u­ca­tion’ should kin­dle stu­dents’ in­ter­est and spon­tane­ity, de­velop their mo­ti­va­tion, and pro­vide guid­ance for them to make con­stant im­prove­ment. In this way, stu­dents can be­come well ed­u­cated, nat­u­rally and un­con­sciously. It is fun­da­men­tally im­por­tant for par­ents to act as a role model, for ed­u­cat­ing by deeds is far more ef­fec­tive than by words.”

(From Glob­alPeo­ple, Is­sue 16, 2018. Trans­la­tion: Wang Wen)

1981年杨绛与钱钟书和钱瑗摄于三里河寓所 Yang Jiang (left), Qian Zhong­shu (mid­dle) and Qian Yuan (right) in their flat in San­lihe in 1981

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.