[Chapter 043] Monthly exam
This issue first came up when her tutoring students started chatting to each other casually. Zhang YanRong’s fees for an average family was the normal price. However, for students who came from well-to-do families, her prices increased by a few times.
Lu YunFei had been quite surprised when he first heard of it. He didn’t understand it, but since it had nothing to do with him, he hadn’t pursued the matter. Who would have thought that he would encounter it today.
As expected, Zhang YanRong’s next words were, “When it comes to tutoring, it’s best to find someone who teaches in a school. After all, we see the teaching materials daily and analyse the mock tests, and are better equipped to understand the psychology of those who set the questions. Such as myself, the students in my after school class will have their questions answered in order to improve their grades. Now that you’re in year two, it is time for you to start working hard. Rather than wasting your time on hiring an external tutor, why not consider me, I’m your English teacher and am better suited to understand the weaknesses in your foundation and how to fix them. What do you think?”
Lu YunFei smiled, “Then teacher, are you tutoring one-on-one?”
“I’m afraid not, we have limited time after school, and it’s not simply one or two students, but a few of them. However, I will be able to pay more attention to you.”
Lu YunFei nodded, “How much does teacher charge?”
Zhang YanRong smiled, “As you know, your current proficiency isn’t too good. It will take a lot of effort on my part to tutor you, and as such it will be more expensive. But it shouldn’t be too expensive for you, eight hundred per class, isn’t that alright.”
Lu YunFei refrained from laughing. Instead, he asked confusedly, “Eight hundred? Are the other students charged this amount?”
“Don’t compare yourself to others, your levels are different.”
“But aren’t we taking the same class?”
“I did mention earlier that I would pay more attention to you. Don’t worry, I’d definitely tutor you well.”
Lu YunFei thought, forget it. His English may be bad, but he could still differentiate between good and bad tutors. His English tutors had always been good tutors. They were able to explain the problems logically, even though he neither understood nor remembered their explanations. Still, he understood that they were dedicated to tutoring him.
However, Zhang YanRong was different. When Zhang YanRong tackled the problems and their answers, she would only say that it was because the other options were unsuitable. As for how they were unsuitable, she wouldn’t explain. When students queried, she would laugh it off by saying that there was no need to explain something so simple, and for the students to go read the textbook, before moving on to the next problem.
Lu YunFei didn’t like her way of conducting classes, and didn’t like it even more that she treated others as dumb people with big wallets — he could accept that his basics were lacking and that it took more effort to tutor him, which was why it would cost more for him; what he couldn’t accept was that everyone took the same class, but it cost ten times as much for him just because his family was wealthy.
Lu YunFei refused, saying: “It’s okay, teacher. I’m used to one-on-one lessons, I’m not used to small classes. Thank you for your concern, I’ll do my best.”
“However, your one-on-one sessions have not seemed to be helping you.”
“It will,” Lu YunFei said decidedly, “I should be able to see results at this month’s exam.”
Zhang YanRong really didn’t want to let go of this huge catch. After some thought, she said, “How about this, I can do one-on-one sessions with you. But this means that it’s private tutoring, so the price will have to be doubled.”
Lu YunFei: …
Lu YunFei thought that she was really bold! One lesson for a thousand six hundred. No other teacher from the entirety of First High probably dared to state this price!
“However, I think my current tutor is quite good. It wouldn’t be appropriate to change tutors suddenly.”
“No such thing as inappropriate. Students look at results. If he isn’t able to teach well, it’s reasonable for you to fire him,” Zhang YanRong justified.
“It’s not yet possible to determine that he doesn’t teach well. This tutor just came on board this month, I think he teaches well.”
“Really?” Zhang YanRong looked skeptical of his claims, “Looks like you’re confident in this month’s exams. Do you think that you can pass this time?”
Lu YunFei looked at the veiled skepticism in her eyes and felt a surge of anger. He had never been one to choose force over persuasion, but after being piqued by Zhang YanRong like this, his tone became hard, “Yes.”
Lu YunFei looked at Zhang YanRong and smiled, “Relax teacher Zhang, I’ll definitely pass this month’s exam, so don’t concern yourself over it.”
Saying this, he stood up and took his crutch, “Class is about to start, I’ll head back now,” Saying this, Lu YunFei left.
Zhang YanRong was incensed by his words of “don’t concern yourself over it”. Seeing him leave, she viciously slammed on the desk with a bang, “What do you mean by don’t concern yourself over it, look at your own grades, you’re the only one who failed. Not even ashamed at how you’re pulling down the average score every time!”
She angrily went “Hmpf” and looked down, and then froze as she looked at the papers in front of her. Had she really forgotten to store this exam paper away when she left for class earlier? Then did Lu YunFei just…
Zhang YanRong furrowed her brows as she recalled Lu YunFei’s confident claims, and a seed of doubt started to grow.
Lu YunFei bumped into Li Li on his way back.
“Teacher Li, you were looking for me?” Lu YunFei stopped to ask.
Li Li nodded, “The principal was looking for me, and so I wasn’t in the staff office for a bit.”
“How is your foot? It won’t affect you taking the exams will it?”
“It won’t,” Lu YunFei said.
“Then how is your revision coming along, you’ve been deskmates with Bian JinYuan, do you think there’s been any results?”
Lu YunFei heard her question and asked curiously, “Teacher why are you asking this? Are you planning to switch me back?”
“No, I was just curious. If you did find improvements, this would prove that it’s easier for peers to help each other, and I’d allow other students to try this out. If you didn’t find it useful, then I’ll forget about this idea, otherwise you guys would think that I’m too meddlesome.”
Lu YunFei smiled, “Why would we think that you’re meddlesome, but teacher Li, you made me your lab rat.”
Li Li smiled gently, “So do you think that it was useful?”
“I think it’s been good,” Lu YunFei said truthfully, “Bian JinYuan has helped me out a lot, and I do feel that my level of English seems to be slightly better than before.”
“Great, then I look forward to your English results, let’s see if it improves.”
Lu YunFei felt pressured upon hearing her words, but he had also just made bold claims to Zhang YanRong, and so he could only try to utilise this pressure as motivation, “I’ll try my best to break through the passing line.”
Li Li smiled, “I’ll keep it in mind, good luck.”
Lu YunFei nodded, and Li Li let him return to the classroom.
As he stepped into the classroom, the bell rang for class. Bian JinYuan saw how he had been gone for an entire class and asked, “What did the homeroom teacher look for you for?”
“Not much, just asked me if my foot injury affected my exam-taking, and told me to do well.”
Saying this, he also remembered the harsh words which he had thrown at Zhang Yanrong and sighed, “Deskmate, do you think I can pass English this time?”
“You will,” Bian JinYuan said.
“Then I’ll ride on your lucky words,” Lu YunFei looked at him, “You’ve definitely got to give me your blessing for me to pass!”
Bian JinYuan looked at his sparkly eyes and reached out to rub his head, “Bless you.”
Lu YunFei got frightened by his actions, and raised his head to look at the podium, to find that the teacher was currently looking down while lecturing, before he relaxed, “We’re in class, making such a large movement.”
Bian JinYuan said “Oh”, and thought that he seemed to sidetracked.
Three days before the exam, Bian JinYuan gave Lu YunFei three sets of handwritten mock papers. All of them were set according to their previous monthly exams, and he got Lu YunFei to work on them once over.
Lu YunFei had been so shocked when he received them, “Does your hand hurt?”
He looked at Bian JinYuan’s long and defined fingers, “So many words.”
“Doesn’t hurt. Finish one set a day, and let me review them when you’re done.”
Lu YunFei felt that he was just too responsible. If Bian JinYuan were to ask him for a thousand and six hundred, he would definitely pay him without questioning it. It was too bad that his deskmate was too humble and didn’t find himself fit to be a teacher, not least to be his teacher.
Lu YunFei felt that if he failed this month’s exam, it wouldn’t just be an embarrassment towards Zhang YanRong, but also a shame towards Bian JinYuan. Bian JinYuan had stopped just short of individually guiding him to write each word. If he failed, then it would really be a waste of Bian JinYuan’s effort this entire month.
Carrying this feeling of dying for an unsuccessful cause, Lu YunFei stepped onto the exam hall for the October monthly exam.
His last ranking was fifty-first, and so he was assigned exam hall two. Bian JinYuan was ranked first, so he was naturally placed in exam hall one. The next afternoon when Lu YunFei arrived at his hall for the English exam, he saw that Bian JinYuan had arrived as well.
“What are you doing here?” He asked, “Have you eaten?”
Lu YunFei felt that it was just like Bian JinYuan to continue to go to his part-time job in the afternoons during the exam period. Other people were studying or recuperating, but Bian JinYuan’s grades were so good that he didn’t find exams to be anything of note.
“I’ve eaten,” Bian JinYuan said, “Good luck for the exam.”
It would have been okay if he hadn’t mentioned it, but now that he had, Lu YunFei felt himself start to become anxious.
“Stop talking, I wasn’t nervous before but I am now.”
“Don’t worry, relax.”
“Of course you’re relaxed, but I’m not you.”
He thought about something, then reached out to grab Bian JinYuan’s hand. Bian JinYuan looked confused, so Lu YunFei smiled at him, “Borrowing your good luck.”
This was the first time that Bian JinYuan had his hand grabbed like that. It felt awkward, but he didn’t shrug his hand off, quietly allowing Lu YunFei to hold his hand.
Lu YunFei held his hand for a while and thought that his hand was quite warm, that holding it felt quite comfortable. It was only when someone walked towards them that he hurriedly let go.
“Got enough?” Bian JinYuan asked.
Lu YunFei nodded, “Enough.”
“Then go in.”
“See you later,” Lu YunFei said as he walked into the classroom on his crutch.
At 2pm, the English exam officially commenced. Lu YunFei looked at the contents of the exam paper and started off with the spelling before looking at the English essay. The fuck! Lu YunFei noticed in shock, it really coincided with one of the seven essays that Bian JinYuan had written. Lu YunFei immediately wrote down what he had memorised, all the while praising Bian JinYuan in his heart.
After writing his essay, Lu YunFei didn’t feel as anxious as before, and so he started working on the multiple choice questions.
None today! Good luck Lu YunFei on your English exam!