The Little Genius

Believe it or not, I was a celebrity in the neighborhood I grew up. Everybody knew me as the “Little Genius”.

When my sister was about six years old, and I was only one year and nine months, my dad was teaching her Chinese characters and poems to prepare her for school. And I was just watching nearby. To my dad’s surprise, I learned more than a hundred characters and memorized some poems, much more than my sister did. This news spread fast, and everyone started calling me the “Little Genius”. To be honest, even though I could read out the poems, I had no clue of the meanings of them. The only thing I knew was that they were called poems.

I was not a very healthy kid, so I constantly had to go to the clinic near my home. All the doctors there knew me. And every time I was there, they would show me some strange Chinese characters and ask “Hey, little genius, do you know how to pronounce this?” I was so tired of it, and just wanted to say “Hey, I’m sick. And how could you expect me to know everything!”

It just turned out I could memorize things fast, but I really did not have a lot of talent with the Chinese language. For all the subjects in school, Chinese had always been my weakest one. But later, I found my talent of learning foreign languages.

During the summer vacation before I went to middle school, a college student from nearby organized some English learning classes. I did not believe I learned anything from those classes. But after the last session, the teacher told me “I believe you are a genius. Trust me, you will speak very good English in the future.” I have no idea how I gave her such a good impression, but her words inspired me and became the reality. I was picked from thousands of students and was included in a special English learning group in middle school. And later in high school, I participated in a few English language contest (grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing only), and I believe I was among the top 100 in the city of Beijing.

Well, these all happened in the past, and nobody calls me a genius any more. But I do believe I’m a still smart person (hopefully :-)).



  1. larrymuffin says:

    No, now we call you a Wise Old Uncle. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yi Zhao says:

      Getting there!


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