6-A Marxist university As our three Brothers, Philip, Albert Ly and a third one, joined the university of Lai Yang, they were greatly surprised to meet four other Brothers coming from Wei Hai Wei, among them Brother Josaphat. The total number of students was five hundred, almost all male. There were hardly a few dozen women students. Although the women followed the same courses and took part in the same meetings in the same rooms, they had their own dormitory. There always existed perfect behaviour between the sexes. The age of the students varied greatly; but there were no elderly student; although many were of mature years.
The university had three branches or faculties, which corresponded to the diverse aptitudes and professions of the students. To “culture and art” belonged literary men, directors, teachers, Chinese men of letters, etc, and to these belonged the seven Marists. Their born leader was Brother Philip Wu. Another faculty received the city mandarins, mandarins from the rural administration, chiefs of sections, e.g. taxes, telegraphs, post office, telephones, etc. Besides this honourable faculty which we could call “civil administration”, there were three others, like the one formed by cooks and janitors; by cooks above all, who, I don’t know why, are the most qualified highwaymen in China. Yet without any doubt, there are some honourable exceptions; but it was a case of a special matter of fact or witticism on the part of the new masters to render the class more honourable… not so much by teaching them the culinary art, as by smearing their brains with fantastic theories.
Each faculty had a president, chosen among the fellow-communists, who under the higher direction of qualified communists, were responsible for keeping order, watching over the scholastic tasks of the elders in the group, receiving their reports every day and other assignments of that type. The faculties were divided into groups of twelve members (perhaps 14), at the head of which was a dean or sergeant with powers of supervision, correction and the obligation to inform the president about the results and the progress of his subordinates. The sergeants used to be given also other responsibilities, as we shall see later on, and in that military style university, the duties corresponded to sergeants, sub officers of regiment, whilst the presidents of a faculty were invested with a captain’s authority. It was fashionable to use military terminology.
Daily routine in the university had for its objective to absorb the whole attention of the students through monotonous and uninterrupted exercises during which the students were given intellectual nutrition and communist morality. No time and no rest was given to reflect on doctrines cunningly injected and, not being assimilated, they were blindly accepted.
Such was the primordial objective of the university and the milestone of its directors. And as the fatigue intensified day after day, the new scatterbrained students of Marxism were now apt instruments to be launched upon the moral conquest of new territorial dominion.