ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperChina / PeopleHot IssuesGovernmentSocietyInnovationEducationCover StoryPeoplePhotosChinas Forrest GumpBy Liu Qing (China Daily) Updated:2012-09-05 08:13Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallMany people dream of obtaining a Peking University degree. Gan Xiangwei did it his way. Liu Qing reports.Since high school, Gan Xiangwei has harbored a dream of entering the gates of the prestigious and beautiful Peking University. “At that time, I thought to myself that even if I couldnt get a place as an undergraduate, I want to have a chance to step into the campus one day, to walk in the grounds and see for myself the beautiful site,” says the 29-year-old.And enter he did. He became a security guard at the university in 2007 and a year later, he was admitted to its Chinese language department, after passing the Adult College Entrance Examination. He graduated this summer.While most people leave the university with a degree, Gan left with more. He penned his thoughts and experiences during his five years on the campus, known as Yanyuan Garden, in a 120,000-word book, Attending Peking University on His Feet, which was published in June.Gan Xiangwei graduates from Peking University, after taking the road less traveled. Photo provided to China DailyAs a security guard at Peking University, Gan Xiangwei spends his spare time reading books. Photo provided to China DailyThe book tells about his struggle in pursuing his path to success, which Gan hopes will motivate his readers. He also hopes to convey his never-say-die attitude to his readers.He has been dubbed by some of his readers as the “Forrest Gump of China”, not only because their surnames sound alike (Gan and Gump) but also for their perseverance.There isnt a more appropriate cover for the book, which has the picture of a security guard looking into the horizon, with the west gate of Peking University as background. Zhou Qifeng, the president of Peking University, wrote the books preface, adding credence to the publication.Born and bred in rural Guangshui in Hubei province, Gan says he started aspiring to enter the world-renowned ivory tower after reading a book about it. The book described the beautiful scenery around Weiming Lake and stories of respectable scholars in Yanyuan Garden.Gans journey to Peking University was not a walk in the park. Educated at a rural school in Hubei province, Gan graduated with a law degree from a local college.He moved to Guangdong province after graduation to work as a legal advisor but his dream of going to Peking University remained. Following the prompting of his heart, Gan gave up his monthly pay of 3,000 yuan ($478) for a job as a security guard at Peking University, which only paid 700 yuan a month.”The job as a security guard may be inferior, but to pursue my dream, I did something that others wont do and by taking that route, I took a chance and finally succeeded,” Gan says, adding that he values the spiritual fulfillment he gained in Yanyuan Garden more than fame and wealth.His affection for Weiming Lake remains till this day – for the interview for this story, Gan chose to meet at the lake area. With his new book in one hand, Gan showed up in a T-shirt, blending into the crowd. But many of those who walked past him recognized him as the security guard who published a book.Gan, probably already used to the attention, did not react with much emotion. But his excitement showed when asked about his feelings on being labeled “a grassroots legend” by some media.”Maybe its incredible for some people that I can succeed and achieve what I want on my own under my circumstances,” Gan says, smiling shyly. “But its too much flattery to say Im a legend. I worked very hard to get what I want.”He explains that he chose the title for his book, Attending Peking University on His Feet, after careful consideration. He finally came up with the title to reflect his previous job as a security guard who stood on his feet for hours.He is grateful to his professors and course mates for their encouragement and support, without whom he would not have published his writings.”They are talented and versatile, and I appreciate them,” Gan says, adding that the experience at Peking University has changed him into a self-confident person.He is now completing his second book, which focuses on the secret of success for ordinary people.”The most crucial determinant is still perseverance,” Gan stresses. According to him, only hard work can make a giant out of an ordinary person. He says it is also important to understand oneself and make full use of the social resources available.”Its impossible for people to choose their starting points such as their families and social class, but their future is certainly in their own hands,” Gan says.Living the adage that time waits for no one, he says young people should try to realize their dreams as early as possible because life is “too short and fragile”.Gan has started his new career as a teacher in Beijing Jianhua Experimental School. He says he plans to devote himself to education, to cultivate top talents with innovative minds, as a way of giving back to the society.Contact the writer at 8.03KRelated StoriesPeking University to sue former professor for libelPeking University sex scandal exaggeratedNo evidence found in Peking U rape allegationPeking U student denies electoral briberyPhotoNight views of Harbin through the lensTibetans take train home after pilgrimage or travellingWorlds largest shaftless Ferris wheel built in ChinaAncient cities to be connected by Xian-Chengdu high-speed railwaySnow turns Harbin into winter wonderlandReed Catkin Festival held in WuhanSocietyPoliticsHot TopicsScience/TechBusinessCover StoryFTZ simplifies process to launch businessesJapan can offer experience, expat saysApplication for work streamlinedAwareness of law aids resolutionAir Force units explore new airspaceLow wages and lack of respect responsible for kindergarten abuse, experts sayLiu heralds UK partnership in education and researchAgency ensuring natural gas supplyUN envoys trip to DPRK praised by BeijingChina moves to secure natural gas supply amid rising winter demandXi asks China, Canada to work for substantial tiesCooperation necessary for success, leaders sayLiving in space: How astronauts train, eat and workTeachers excused for lunchtime drinksWaiting for Shenzhou XICancer agent found in 44 cities drinking waterAt Ikea eatery, its no pay, no stayChina lose 2-0 to Uzbekistan in World Cup qualifier, coach Gao resignsC919 gains another 55 orders, lifting total orders to 785Services offset dip in manufacturingFintech to energize real economy, cut risksChinas Long March rockets complete 60 commercial launchesEngineers achieve breakthroughChina-made components add securityOnline shopping rings up customer complaintsImport expo to focus on advanced techSME mobile market platform receives first clientsChina top importer of US soybeansAir China opens direct route from Beijing to BarcelonaInsurance-based trust launchedDandelion helping to sow the seeds of stability for membersCover storyVisa change may boost tourism to USThe wrong side of the roadBuilding ban begins to biteVillagers call on Japan to atone for massacreMost ViewedTodays Top News2030 emission goal reasonable – top climate negotiatorGranting longer visas for foreign experts eyed to ease entryRepentant convicts in Xinjiang get sentence reductionsTibet hoping to become a top global destinationCases of illegal GM crops under controlFujian to blaze trail for reformsPremier: No giving up on growthPlanner rules out hard landingDiplomacy the key for peaceful coexistenceMinister: China can absorb laid-off laborFemale students at Jiangxi University of Science and Technology received a special Girls Day present courtesy of a dozen male chemistry students: tailor-made perfume.HighlightsProperty investments most profitable in past decadeSmart healthcare changes Chinese lives, but challenges remainSome Tibetan plants can predict Indian monsoonMarriage too costly for some rural bachelors in ChinaHot TopicsTransformers stars hospital experience triggers healthcare debate Full text: Beijing Declaration of the BRICS Media Summit Chinas two-child policy puts pressure on sperm banks Ground level Rule of law Panda China youths Anti-terror drive Family planning SmogSpecialMy Chengdu storyChina Legal Information Center…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer | Expat Employment |Copyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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