Department of Student Education
On April 2, Jianxiong Ge, a renowned historical geographer was invited to school's " Xide Lecture", discussing reading and life from two aspects: "Why should we read and learn; and does reading have anything to do with life".
Prof. Jianxiong Ge, former director of China Historical Geography Research Institute and Historical Geography Research Center of Fudan University, recently retired from the position of director of Fudan University Library. In his lecture, Pro. talked about his study experience in his youth and what he has learned in years of reading and teaching. He first warned:"We used to say read as more as you can, but today the important thing is to choose what are suitable books for us to read. Since we have too many books now, if we only pursue quantity or simply parrot the words, we can't learn well. On "Why should we read and learn", he concluded: we learn to do research, seek knowledge, and learn for the needs of life.
To seek knowledge requires us to choose books that we need to read and need to use. We should control ourselves. To do research requires us to find the exact target first and then read to exhaust, only by which can we do research. Because the purpose of research is to identify and solve problems and improve and perfect on the basis of the older generation. Reading a few books one-side will lead to incomplete understanding and academic misconduct. In fact, most of us read and learn for the last purpose: self- sublimation, spiritual growth. It does not bear too many goals. Instead, what we need is to enjoy the sheer pleasure of reading. Such pleasure of reading should start from an early age.
On the balance between individual interests and making a living, Prof. Ge said that a person's job and his interest will not necessarily be exactly the same. Only after one solves his survival problem and accomplish his goals one by one, can he better publicize his personality and do what he is interested in. At the same time, practice and study cannot be abandoned. Reading and traveling are Chinese tradition. It's not only about practice and knowledge. It's more about relationship of life. What is more important than learning is to apply knowledge to realize one's beliefs. To achieve one's belief, we must learn to seize the historic opportunities, actively read and learn and gain experience.
Finally, he concluded: a combination of reading and life can make a big difference. This is an era with numerous opportunities in which it's a lot easier to realize one's dream. Only through continuous efforts can one write his charming chapter in life.
Translated By Xia Qiao