Wu Tianxiong, 91, used to work at a forklift factory in Hefei before retirement. Born in Hefei in 1923 but grew up in Chongqing during the Sino-Japanese War, he wasn't able to finish school when he was young.
"Classes were often cut off by bombings and we had to hide in caves and didn't learn much from school," he said. After he returned to Hefei and became a factory worker, the want of knowledge made him a frequent visitor to library.
"I was in poor health then so I was especially interested in medical books and also made acquaintance of a professor with the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)."
Wu retired from the factory at 60, and got a part-time job at USTC. "I did some cleaning and raised rabbits for the laboratory. When I was not working, I went to classes of the Biology Department and the young students were very nice to me, they were very patient and would explain things to me over and over again."
At 80, Wu became a junior high school student at Hefei No. 28 Middle School, which his son used to attend. "I wanted to learn English because I wanted to read more biological works," he said.
"The kids were very supportive. Normally it's the grandpa taking the grandson to school, but my grandson took me to school on the first day," Wu said proudly. His grandson, a graduate student, loves to discuss questions with him because "grandpa is so smart!"
After graduating from high school in 2005, "Grandpa Smart" studied at Anhui Agricultural University and then enrolled in an open course on Chinese culture at USTC in 2012.
"I want to set an example; I want to send a message to everyone that it's never too late to learn," Wu said.