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Cathy joined the University this year and works in an administrative department. As a young professional, she is eager to immerse herself in all the opportunities that the University offers. With a newcomer’s lack of preconceived notions, she offers a fresh look at the various facets of HKBU life.

我的專業 (6)
校園生活 (11)
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Hands-on business experience
Inspiring future journalists
Remembering in words
Writing the Metropolis
The art of science and vice versa

Hands-on business experience
2013-02-08 14:18:25.0 網誌分類: 我的專業

The Chinese New Year Fair at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay is an annual festive event I have not managed to attend all these years. This year, a member of the Business United Society, an HKBU student interest club, told me that they would be putting up four stalls at the fair so I decided to go. It turned out to be a fun experience, albeit one that considerably lightened my wallet.

The entrepreneurial talent of our students was on full display, as a couple of them approached me before I had even properly spotted their stall and enthusiastically began showing me their products. There were a range of toys, paper cutting art, and shopping bags, some of which they had designed themselves. All the four stalls were attractively set up with students doing their best to attract customers.

Later, I chatted with Lomond Chu, President of the Business United Society, who explained that the Society had recruited members for the activity and divided the 100 shortlisted students into teams of 25 each. In November, each team studied the floor plan of the fair carefully and went to Queen Elizabeth Stadium to bid for their preferred stall. After Christmas, the Society took all the participating students on a trip to Guangzhou, where they met with wholesalers and began working on sourcing their own products. The students also designed some of the products themselves and got them manufactured.

On 3 February, the night before the opening of the fair, the students worked overnight to set up their stalls. From then on, it’s been day after day of working round-the-clock in shifts to make sure they run a profitable enterprise.

This is the fourth year the Business United Society is running the activity and last year, Lomond was a participant himself. “Working in the stalls is very exciting,” he says, reflecting on his current role as a behind-the-scenes coordinator. “But now, when I see each of our four stalls selling good products, I feel a sense of achievement too.”


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Inspiring future journalists
2012-11-28 11:27:19.0 網誌分類: 我的專業

Last week was an exciting one for journalism students and anyone interested in news media with six winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and two guest speakers visiting HKBU as part of the Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop. The line-up of speakers was so tempting that I had trouble choosing which one to go to.

Finally, I attended a class sharing by Mr Clifford Levy, Deputy Editor of The New York Times, who had won the prestigious prize twice – in 2003 in the investigative reporting category and as a member of a team in the international reporting category. The classroom I attended was overflowing with students eager to hear Mr Levy share his experiences of “Reporting on Dissent”, a topic that no doubt struck a chord with many of our aspiring reporters. Mr Levy discussed a series of reports on dissenters in Russia, using them to illustrate techniques students might employ in their own work.

Contrary to the stereotype of students in Hong Kong being a quiet bunch, reluctant to ask questions or draw attention to themselves in class, the students at Mr Levy’s lecture were not hesitant to answer questions thrown at the audience, and their own questions came thick and fast. I witnessed this at another Workshop session I attended as well.

At many of the talks, students asked questions concerning media ethics: How does a photographer decide it’s time to put down his camera and intervene in a story? How does a reporter deal with the guilt of a person he interviewed being beaten up or killed after the interview? They were concerned with the practical realities of journalism and the moral dilemmas they expected to encounter in the field. Their idealism would hearten those cynical about the future of journalism.


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Remembering in words
2012-11-21 11:06:00.0 網誌分類: 我的專業

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about meeting some of the writers who are participating in this year’s International Writers Workshop (IWW). The activities under the IWW include a short story and a poetry writing competition for HKBU students, judged by some of the visiting writers. The winner of both competitions this year was the same student, Zabrina Lo Shu-siu, who clearly has a flair for creative writing.

Her poem The Marine Police was inspired by the recent ferry tragedy in Hong Kong, having watched the rescue effort from her home in Aberdeen. Reading it, one can acutely feel the courage and also the pathos that night. So read this poem and then close your eyes and spare a thought for those whose lives were irrevocably changed on 1 October.

The Marine Police
A tribute to all the heroes in Lamma Island Ferry Crash 2012

I see the bones of my fingers
Lifeless, daunting, tarnished
Tis the hand of once a savior
With larger than life convictions burnished

Years of battles against the turquoise tongue
I pulled back poor souls with my own bare hands
The grace of a savior who gave life
The pride of a hero who let live

But life was a line sometimes the hero couldn’t drag
Like vapour, their souls I never managed to grip
Their eyes screaming as the sea sucked them back
I gently waved as they went on their last lonely trip

The thought that I rescued him got me overwhelmed
But he begged with his last breath a promise to make
Tell them… tell them I love them… them…
Then like a newborn, whose sleep was too seductive to wake

I gawk at my corroded colourless fingers
Sometimes I still feel the pulse of the boy faltering
And the screams like electricity over my tips that linger
My flesh RIPped by every soul to fathoms down it brings

I keep apologizing, apologizing, apologizing
Who was I to determine who deserved to be the living?
I wish I was a true savior
A savior that the world never needs

In death I grow up to be a true hero –
A guardian stationing the life and death crossroads
Who strives to save and lasts to wave
Battered, burdened, but invincible

Again and again, I let live and let them go.

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Writing the Metropolis
2012-10-24 14:50:38.0 網誌分類: 我的專業

On Friday, I trailed HKBU’s eight visiting writers as they toured Nan Liang garden in Diamond Hill before the official opening of the International Writers Workshop. The theme of this year’s workshop is Writing the Metropolis, and Nan Liang garden, its choreographed stillness framed by the towering skyscrapers and frenetic city beyond its limits, is an iteration of that theme.

Some of the writers were curious about the details of Tang architecture provided by the tour guide; others preferred to absorb the serenity on the garden on their own. A couple of them paired off for a chat. This, after all, is part of the experience of being a visiting writer – getting a taste of what the host city has to offer but also forming bonds and connections with writers from other countries.

The more public aspect of the workshop is a series of talks by the writers on their work and experience. On Monday, they shared their impressions of their home cities and how the locations they write in have influenced their work. A broad range of ideas were raised – from Ajit Baral’s reflections on “pell-mell growth” of Kathmandu to Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s more lyrical presentation of Hanoi.

Meena Kandasamy questioned how cities such as her hometown Chennai in India define insiders and outsiders and highlighted how the Indian city has become a site of moral policing. Being an insider and outsider was also raised by Holly Thompson, a US writer living in Japan, who reflected on the “bothness” of her experience. Pilar Quintana gave the audience a taste of the city as it evolves in Columbian literature, concluding with her own experience of the changes in the town she grew up in. Bina Shah introduced the audience to the contradictions of choosing to live in Karachi – a city that makes her heart sing even as it breaks her heart. She is probably the first person in a long time to describe Hong Kong as “an oasis of calm and peace.”

The writers’ presentations sparked interesting questions from the audience; clearly the breadth of experiences shared had evoked some thoughts in the mostly young listeners. Fortunately, there is a whole month of activities to be inspired by.

For more details on the IWW events, go here: http://iww.hkbu.edu.hk/


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The art of science and vice versa
2011-04-07 17:35:18.0 網誌分類: 校園生活

There is no science without fantasy, and no art without facts
-Vladimir Nabokov

If you are one of those people who thinks that science and art are polar opposites and never the twain shall met, you should have been at the lecture by Prof. Dudley Herschbach (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1986) on 1 April. Prof. Herschbach made a convincing case for “Science as an Artistic Adventure” through a lively presentation that had the audience tapping their feet to a Cole Porter song at the end.

Not what you’d expect of a scientist?

Well, Prof. Herschbach shatters the stereotypical notion of a scientist, even if he is most well known for his contributions to chemistry. For one, he organised poetry competitions for his undergraduate students, because he thought that exams tended to focus too much on right and wrong answers. And some of the poems which Prof. Herschbach shared in his presentation were pretty good too. 

Which only serves to illustrate Prof. Herschbach’s point that the sciences and arts are not as far removed as we tend to think. Both scientists and artists, he said, work at the frontiers trying to find fresh insights on basic questions. Science involves as much exploration, playfulness and guesswork as creating a work of art. “We try reckless things that may or may be well received,” he chuckled.

Like art, much of science is done using the right side of the brain, he said, adding: “Most scientists and most artists are kids at heart.”

Quoting the phrase “rekindling the kindergartner” from Stanford University’s Design School magazine, he said we need to recapture the joy and fascination of pursuing things without worrying about the right answer. In fundamental science as in the arts, he pointed out, nobody knows the correct answer. Both art and science work within constraints, which only spur on creativity.

Still not convinced? Prof. Herschbach told us that inscription for the Nobel medal for the Science and Literature was the same - Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes (loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.")

Here is a poem by the Czech poet Jan Skacel from Prof. Herschbach’s presentation that I really loved:

Poets don’t invent poems
The poem is somewhere behind
It’s been there a long long time
The poet merely discovers it.

This, said Prof. Herschbach, is exactly what scientists do too. “Science and other domains are an attempt to uncover what Nature is trying to tell us… sorting through the vocabulary and grammar of Nature’s messages.” Unlike in fields like business and politics, Nature’s messages for scientists change little over time, they await the scientist.

And while science may come across as a solitary endeavour, Prof. Herschbach stresses its social character. Scientists build on the discoveries made before them.

If you’re looking for a reading list on the subject, here are two recommendations from Prof. Herschbach’s presentation – Science and Human Values by J. Bronowski and Drawing on the Right Side by Betty Edwards. Happy reading!

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作者: 馮強先生

2012-08-22 10:19:59.0

轉載 2012年8月22日[都市日報]P18 懷抱天下 (from wikimedia commons)電影《占士邦特務007》今年慶祝50周年紀念,電影發行公司將在全球舉行為期3年的巡迴

作者: 文潔華教授

2013-07-25 09:44:51.0


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