Changshan teacher renowned for kindness and boiled eggs
Zhang Liming hands out eggs to his students in the classroom. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
The career of Zhang Liming, a 60-year-old math teacher at Zigang High School in Changshan county, Zhejiang province, has long been a testament to the ancient Chinese maxim, "Don't cease to do good things no matter how seemingly insignificant they are".
On a recent morning, Zhang got up out of bed at 4 am and arrived at school at 5:20 am. Then he started using an electric cooker to boil eggs in the office, before walking into a quiet classroom packed with students at 6 am, carrying a basin-full of boiled eggs.
"Come on kids, have some eggs," he said to the students, who bursted into cheers. Each student gladly received eggs from Zhang's hands, enjoyed the breakfast, and then started with the first lesson of the school day.
Cooking eggs for students' breakfasts was not an impulsive act by the teacher who is set to retire in a few months from his beloved teaching post after a 40-year career. Rather, Zhang has been following the same routine every workday morning for 10 years.
Throughout that time, Zhang has handed out around 50,000 boiled eggs in the early morning. To ensure the best taste of the eggs, Zhang always follows these exact procedures: boil the eggs for 20 minutes, turn off the cooker, leave the eggs in the cooker for three minutes, empty water from the cooker, and dry the eggs for another 20 minutes before handing them out to students.
A student eats a boiled egg cooked by Zhang Liming in the classroom. In students' eyes, Zhang's culinary skill has always been as excellent as his teaching ability. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]