SneezeBloid, the “tabloid” collection of Weibo posts and news headlines from SneezeNet, gathered stories of students and parents driven to madness by the gaokao, China’s university entrance examination:
lebronlisong: This happened in Xiaoyi City, Lüliang, Shanxi Province. Before noon, in front the gates of the Xiaoyi No. 5 High School, someone heard he didn’t do well on the gaokao. He took a knife and stabbed himself once, piercing his heart, and said goodbye to his 20 years of life.
Student Two Minutes Late to Exam, Mother Begs on Knees: At Shanghai’s East China Model High School testing center, a student arrived two minutes late because his bicycle broke. He was not allowed in to take the gaokao. His mother begged on her knees, while the student threw a tantrum out of desperation. In the end, he could not take the test. The Shanghai Educational Testing Facility said the testing center acted on strict accordance with the rules.
Sink-Zhang: Seeing this story about the student who arrived late to the gaokao and whose mother begged on her knees, I want tell my own story. When my son took the SAT in the U.S., he got the time wrong (he’s always like this–he takes after me) and arrived half an hour late to the exam. He was worried sick. The teacher had him sit in a room by himself to take the test. He didn’t get a break like the other test-takers. He just finished in one stretch and totally exhausted himself. When he told me about this later, I felt there was no cure for this disease…
ZhaoXiaobo: I saw in the news that the parents in one town poisoned the frogs in the local pond so that their croaking wouldn’t distract their children during the gaokao. There were even parents who wouldn’t let the neighbors flush their toilets at night in order to maintain quiet. I can understand wanting test-takers to be well-rested, but what’s the point of raising “college students” with such disregard for life and harsh demands on neighbors?
DongniDongliangVVV: A group of parents took it upon themselves to block the slow lane entrance to No. 9 High School [in Jinan, the capital of Shandong]. People blocked people and cars blocked cars. Some cyclists were forcibly pulled aside by the parents, nearly falling over and boiling with rage. The parents’ reason for this? Their children were taking the English listening section of the gaokao and were worried about noise. A woman who was pulled over threw a curse as she scrambled to her feet: “Who hasn’t f*cking taken the gaokao? Haven’t you gone too far? This is really scary…” She bought an ice cream and slinked off.
东尼东亮VVV ：一群家长自发封死九中门口慢车道，见人拦人见车挡车，几个骑自行车的人被家长们强行拉下，几乎跌倒，怒不可遏，家长的理由，孩子高考英语听力，怕有噪 音，一名被扯倒在地的女性边爬起来边愤怒的抛下一句话~谁她妈没参加过高考？至于吗？我觉得这里可怕极了…买了一个雪糕默默离开了
WangYajunBeijing: Today (the 8th) a student committed suicide because he “didn’t do well on the gaokao.” And because her child arrived two minutes late to the test, a mother kneeled in front of the doors. While I respect these people and pity them, what can we say about this society? The gaokao is a narrow bridge we all fight to cross. But what happens when you’ve crossed this “bridge”? At the other end is nothing but a soap bubble, a bubble of hope glittering in the sun!
MistyRiver: While taking her daughter to the gaokao in Changsha, a car hit a woman and sent her flying more than ten meters. She landed in a pool of blood. The traffic police and passersby consoled the girl and convinced her to take the exam. Eyes filled with tears, she walked into the testing center… This isn’t the gaokao, it’s a dead end for love and goodness. The gaokao is solely for one’s own success, for improving one’s lot in life. But why has the gaokao superseded everything else in life? It is simply because without the gaokao, there is no other road we can travel.
Global Times: Gaokao Shows Complexity of Nation: You can’t simply say the gaokao is good or bad. It seems we’ve selected the least bad from among every manner of corrupt option. The gaokao is most rigorous in fairness, yet it is a super-social system that has had elements of unfairness from its very inception. It embodies both the yearning of the Chinese people for fairness and the impossibility of total fairness at our current stage.
sinchaos: After the test, one corner of one high school