Never give up

Never give up

Never give up苦命女孩在生活的重压下执着求学。 FOR many young people, having to attend school with a parent would be their worst nightmare (噩梦). However, Senior 1 student Li Qinmei is happy taking her father with her as long as she can go to classes. He is disabled and unable to take care of himself.

The 16-year-old country girl in Zhucheng, Shandong Province has experienced one disaster after another in her short life. Li lost her mother at three. Four years later, her father became paralysed (瘫痪) after a tractor (拖拉机) accident. At 12, her misfortune (苦难) returned with the death of her grandma. Since then she has been forced to shoulder all the responsibility (责任) for her broken family.

Li learnt to cook and managed to live a life with an allowance (补助) of only 24 yuan per month. The most difficult thing she had to deal with was helping her father bathe (洗澡), dress and use the toilet as he could hardly move.

"I felt embarrassed (尴尬的), and so did my dad. It was really hard at the beginning," she recalled (回忆).

During most of her junior school years, Li went to classes only once a month as her father was seriously ill at the time.

"I taught myself at home and asked teachers for help on my school days," she explained.

Li's hard work paid off this fall. She was admitted by Zhucheng No 1 High School, a local key school, based on (依据) her good performance in the entrance exams.

The school offered Li and her father a room on campus to live in so she could look after him during breaks.

Once in a while, Li felt sad when she saw her classmates going shopping or hanging out with friends.

"I envy (羡慕) them sometimes because they have both mum and dad to look after them. However, I soon feel relieved (释然) as I still have my dear dad with me," she said.

Li admitted that the difficulties in life had taught her to be strong.

"I believe I will go on and continue my studies at a good university," she said, in a confident tone.

Her teacher Wang has the same belief. Li made great progress in the recent monthly exams. "She works hard and is always eager to excel (好强的). It's not easy for her never to be late for school, but she has managed to make it work," Wang said.