“I went to the best middle school in the country,” he said. Mentioned this to a friend, who said “I went to the same school.”
Saw both then in a particular light. Thought middle school meant Grades 7 to 9. Turns out that there is “senior middle school”, being Grades 10 to 12, where entrance is by competitive examination. Both had attended Tianjin Nankai High School. Later success framed by the experience, alongside that of many famous graduates, including Zhou Enlai, the first premier of post-revolution China.
Thinking about the importance of competitive selection. Trying to encourage the best in people, at least academically. At most, academically?
Recalling how a former student and all of her siblings were similarly “selected”, and succeeded.
Recalling how a high school teacher was so valued in Vietnam that he was not permitted to leave.
Know the selection process, and how one can end up challenged by exceptionality.
Wondering how exceptional talents are recognized and nurtured in various contexts, in a world of elevated self-esteem considerations.