Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Letter to Wing Lee

Wing Lee - Full name is "Yeung Wing Lee", is/was a committee member of Catholic Society. There is a great friendship between him and I.
Wing Lee:
So nice to visit your web page today. I think I learn more in US than in HK. You may inform Mr.Poon(the computer teacher in CSK) that I am studying computer science in US. Apart from that, you may print this letter out for Miss Leung to read, it may make her happy.
I miss you all a lot. Miss W.L. Leung, which is my head-teacher in form 1, become a slim and sweet lady and her recent photos really wondered me. Amazing. And it is easy to guess, students I know by means of Catholic Society have been much more mature than before, that is what I appreciate and that is what I looked for.
After a year, the catholic society web site hangs when I go inside, however, I deny to maintain the web site, as it is the current students' responsibility to maintain the site properly, not me. You all should learn how to carry a burden, and if I help you to carry the burden, it become meaningless. Moreover, I do have a much more heavy burden than yours. Nevertheless, there is an piece of advice that I can help you is to remove the complex thing inside the web site if you do not understand how to correct it. If you can do that, edit it. Programming spends you heaps of time, and most of your time will be spend on debugging the web page.
Although I miss you all, I think it is the time of revolution, and the time of opting for deep changes. While I am going to be more conscious about what I am doing, I noticed I have changed a half of myself and something good is entering into my mind. I believe god is still blessing me with a new opportunity for a new revolution, may be as a reward of serving him well (students who dropped out in form 6, all of them go to work, except me, who is blessed with chance to change his entire life. And god trust me I can do that.). It is the time of gaining trust and commitment between god and me, the time of growing my intellgent, which is not likely to be achieved in the time during HK, the time of exploring my abilities (not only programming, but a whole person), which is not possible to be done even I still get promoted to Form 7. But I still disagree to drop the students out because of unsatifactory results in academic exams as the outcome of dropping students is doing nothing good to them. I go to US and what I am doing is insulting the HK education system. In the follow years, I can tell you it is totally short-sighted, stupid, and finally become a joke on the school policy to dropping me out of the school, who is a wise and an innovative person.
May god train me to be a wise man, after he turned me a vice chairman, a chairman, and then a wise chairman. A long way to run, and a long struggle is going to face...(If there is a god? I always wish something miracle happen...)
Here you are the differences that I found between American history lesson and Hong Kong's Chiese culture, Chinese History, Western history lesson. American history lesson offers chances to stimutiate critical thinking of its students. These history lessons are not make up of 100% fact. It is a lesson of trying to judge famous historical figures, and to determine their thinking and what they did in the history are right or wrong. Thus, we can learn from the history, and this is the purpose of study history - learn from the past. However, none of history lessons in Hong Kong are concerning about critical thinking. All of the materials, which are nearly 100% are facts, are going to be memorize, not interpret. Therefore, students have no idea about what critical thinking is, regardless how their teachers blowing "you must have critical thinking" while students are receiving a word "critical thinking" without any details about it. For example, western history only give out the cause and effect of World war II, without judging who are wrong, who are right and the reasons of why they become right and why they become wrong.
American history lessons leave out suspicous factoid for students to analyse and give chances to thinking about these controversies while students in Hong Kong have to behave like a fact machine- vomit facts from their mouth in the exam- and that's all. Concerning the form 6 and 7 "chinese culture" teaching schedules, it covers huge amount of concept that students never experienced and overcame. Teachers hardly have time to mention about what is critical thinking. Students tend to not doing well as it is too much critical thinking at a time. When the teachers emphasize the subject requires "critical thinking", I (and I know heaps of students just like me) doubt what "critical thinking" they mean. Now, I am quite sure that the definition of critical thinking in US is far different from the definition of "critical thinking" by HK teachers. Nonetheless, teacher do not realize this problem, they just think the problem is I am not working hard. They are assuming that they are all correct and stubbornly continue their "perfect" way of teaching. Students who can success in this subject learned critical thinking by themselves, but there are not many students can do that. That is why there is large portion of these students get a poor grade of the subject.
Also, HK schools are completely homogeneous. The history is not teaching how to treat values involving with other racies, religion, gender, class, and sexual orientation of human. Usually the rich oppresses the poor, Men dominates women, heterosexism is superior to homosexuality. How can we judge a person that is different from your social group? How can we respect them? However, I am so disappointed with the History syllbus as all of that the History have is fact. This idea is very worth to a homogeneous school because Hong Kong is an "International city", respecting others values is so crucial within (how about men is dominiating women?) and outside the society (Here you are an Indian and a white man, who will you choose to be your friend? Please notice your perspective while you are choosing between two of them.), but the history does not include this idea. So HK history lessons are failed to meet one of the intented purpose of learning history.
I am not looking forward for the students that will receive unsatifactory result in the any exam in HK because of these notorious subjects, and teachers will still claim that we should pound of our history and culture, isn't it?
In my study of my first bachelor degree (computer science), I study english(which makes my english close to "native", however, I am in a long way to be native), computer programming(which is rather fast for me- java, c++ programming), math(calulus, a little bit more than form 5. It is easy to know the concept and I know that in HK already, but hard to be careful to score a good grade. Regarding my math study, it is the requirement for me to score a perfect grade, and I did all subject a perfect grade in last quarter), multculture studies (it is more than history, which requires competent English and use English to think History, I have to learn American History while I am still overcoming the language difficulty), Music(piano essemble, which means to play piano 4 people together, and private piano lesson, which I have a scholarship that allows me to take this subject free of charge. I win the scholarship by memorizing 2 pieces of bach "suite" and have a performance.).
I try to be study very hard. The days in America are not playing at all. It is the time of struggle and I idenify that. I really feel I am struggling all the time. I try to get every subject having a perfect grade (very tough for me, but I still get all my subjects in perfect grade in last quarter). If I can get a perfect grade throughout the journey of study (take me 1.75 years), I may apply for transferring UW (university of washington, which has a computer department ranked within the top ten in the US. wow.) Sleeping with books, eating in a rush, speaking purposely with others (without saying rubbish), and learning incredibly fast (which is a challenge for me.) are expected in these days. If someone ask me whether I would prefer to stay in US or HK, I would choose US as there are more opportunities for me to develop myself. I feel I am growing up here. I become indepentent, the last one to be responsible for myself is me, and there is no one else take care about you seriously. I become more wise in decision making(no one will make decision for me), managed to do well in a packed schedule. The packed schedule in US is more meaningful to me than in HK. HK education system let its students fail the subject even they work hard, but in US, the system make the students to deserve a perfect grade once they work hard. Once US teachers feel you devote time and effort into the subjects, they try to help you in all efforts if you to encounter any difficulties or they feel you having big problems, while HK teachers are exhausted with their workloads and paying limited time on troubled students. Therefore, which system would you prefer?
I am sympathetic to the deteriorating eduation system in HK; however, I cannot do much on this stubborn eduation system, including some teachers in Hong Kong. Perhaps, one day the Hong Kong goverment may be exhausted to correct the existing education system, and ask for the Mainland goverment to provide education for Hong Kong students, or ask foreign schools to setup international schools on their own to replace all the schools in Hong Kong. What's a shame?

Patrick Yau
The former Chairman of Catholic Society,
and also the wise "wayfarer" on his way of his studies
(Proofread only by me myself)

I start online from 3:15am midnight to 10:30am in HK time (tomorrow only, I am not sure I can be online during the first hour and the last hour.). So I think you can able to do that, but I do not except you use your precious time. This period of time I am free because I have a day off on every Friday (for the time during summer quarter only). I always need to take a rest during Mondays thorough Thursdays.
Could you do me a favor, scan the certificate(s) of the club won during the time is I was the chairman and email those files to me. I just want to have some proof to show me that I served the club during that time. Thank you.

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