Describe a historical period you’d like to know more about
You should say:
- When it was;
- What happened during that period of time;
- Who played an important role in this period of time;
- And explain why you are interested in this period of time
I’d like to talk about the central planning era in China. At the time, our country was in a planned economy environment. Simply speaking, the government had control over activities and there were only nation-owned businesses.
The period was between the 1950s and the 1970s. I remember it well because my history teacher in high school gave us a very good lecture about it with all kinds of details about that era. Plus, my parents grew up during that period and experienced the poverty and rigid lifestyle of that era. They’ve shared some stories of their life back then with me as well. So this era in our history has definitely left its mark on me.
At that time, everyone’s jobs were assigned by the government. But the salary was fixed whether your work performance was good or bad. People called jobs like this an iron rice bowl, which means a job for life.
I’m always curious about this period in China’s history. For one, I’m a little jealous of the young people at that time because they didn’t have to compete in the stiff job market that all the college graduates are facing today. For another, I often wonder what my life would be like if I was born back then. I don’t know if I would be bored out of my mind every day. After all, everything was planned.
the central planning: the total body of government actions to determine and coordinate directions of national economic development.
planned economy: an economic system in which industry is controlled by the government and the government makes all decisions about what to do with the money made
have control over: the act of controlling something or someone, or the power to do this
strict (adj) stiff or fixed; not able to be bent or moved
leave your/a mark (on): to have a very strong and noticeable effect on someone or something, usually a bad one that lasts for a long time
iron rice bowl: the Chinese term used to refer to occupation with guaranteed job security, as well as steady income and benefits
jealous /ˈdʒeləs/ (adj): feeling angry or unhappy because somebody you like or love is showing interest in somebody else
stiff /stɪf/ (n): more difficult or severe than usual
bored/stoned out of your mind: if you say that someone is, for example, bored out of their mind, scared out of their mind, or stoned out of their mind, you are emphasizing that they are extremely bored, scared, or affected by drugs.