During a trip to Beijing with Mr. Deng, we found a carefully preserved collection of Shi Ming’s homework and diaries dated from his elementary to middle school years in the 1980s.

“Opening the blue cover of the old notebook, I began to read Shi Ming’s writing, as if watching my childhood unfold before my eyes. Shi Ming’s words are filled with excitement and wonder over the new life brought by the modernization of the 1980s and, at the same time, distress caused by external pressure and expectations from parents and schools, as well as the endless internal struggle between self-criticism, self-correction, and soul-searching for liberation and dreams.” — ying