Couple of days before Lunar New Year, I visited the college I attended in 1980’s – Xi’an Jiaotong University (西安交通大學)。
I was wandering on its empty campus, picking up the time when I was a student almost thirty years ago. At that time, I was occupied by a dream to become one of the top female scientists at China. Even though I took a detour on my career path later and eventually landed on a field different from my original ideal, I truly appreciate the knowledge I learned here.
This sculpture is located in front of its main entrance, stands as its landmark. On one side the four engraved Chinese characters means “Remembrance of Your Drinking Water” (飲水思源)，on another side the engraved Chinese writing briefly introduces the history of the university since 1896.
There are four sculptures standing in front of newly built library – 錢學森圖書館, representing the four greatest contributions of ancient Chinese to the human civilization – dynamite, paper, printing and compass. The university has inherited the creativity from Chinese ancestors to continuously innovate in science and technology.
Not only has the university been a pioneer in many fields, but also been a forerunner in education. In over a decade of its history it has been cultivating countless outstanding scientists and engineers, who are working around the globe to make our world a better place. This great achievement is reflected by one of its principles engraved in a polyhedron sculpture – Education in a Decade (百年樹人)。
While I was walking across one of the students’ dormitories, a pair of metal sculpture caught my eyes. They are an ancient musician and a modern student with a backpack. I couldn’t decode its meaning, and nobody around to explain to me. Does it imply that our knowledge is always sourced from ancestors’ wisdom, and we should also pass our knowledge and wisdom onto the next generation?
What do you think?