In the end we are our choices

I was practising making posters with the app ‘Canva’, and I needed some text. This favourite quote of mine by Jezz Bezos, founder of Amazon, sprang to mind. It was 2010 and Bezos was speaking to a group of students at Princeton.

The older I get, the more this quote resonates with me. To me, its beauty lies in the fact that it can be interpreted on different levels. It can refer to career success. But it can also refer to what kind of person we want to become.

These days, more and more people squander their lives by playing the blame game, or by living in a reactive manner. “I’m doing this because THEY ….”; “There’s nothing I can do before THEY ….”; ……

Yes, as Alain de Botton asserts in his famous TED talk, there are just too many unknown variables in life so that sometimes bad luck does happen to conscientious and hardworking people. But much of the time, we can still choose how to act and how to be. We don’t always have to allow ourselves to become victims of circumstances.

In the end, we are our choices.


How best should teachers be spending their time?

A former student shared her frustrations about the endless repetitive non-teaching chores that she has to deal with . Although this could be a start-of-school-year flurry, it begs an important question: How best should our teachers be spending their time?
Of course, in every fulltime job, there will be a monontonous and repetitive aspect which nonetheless has to be attended to. But if this eats too deeply into staff’s time for productive and meaningful work, they will be disillusioned, and in the long run, their work passion will be eroded.
We all acknowledge that teaching is a profession that requires work passion. But are we paying enough attention to how to design the work of teaching and how to prioritize teachers’ work duties so that teachers can see the purpose of what they are doing? A teacher’s duty list can keep expanding indefinitely. But how best should teachers be spending their time?

Receiving good news from former students while on holiday


而在臉書上收到或看到的舊學生的好消息,也增添了這短假期的喜樂: 有舊學生張貼在教師節獲獎的照片,也有舊學生特地private~message 我告訴我在教師節獲得表揚;有舊學生考獲LPAT overall Level 4 ;有舊學生獲選於教育文憑畢業禮中代表全體畢業生致詞;有舊學生真的嘗試把Language Awareness 一科學到的應用在教學上,兼且把教材和我分享……; 當然還有看見英文e~Learning WhatsApp group 組員老師的積極交流……




首先,「歪風」中的「風」,是figure of speech, 要直譯為英文未必妥當,但英文的wind, 也的確有氣候、風氣的意思,例如winds of change, 故此,原譯an unhealthy wind中的wind 也可接受。

至於中文「歪風」中的「歪」,也是比喻的一部分,泛指「不正」,但不是指具體的如何不正,要譯做英文,找個泛指不正的形容詞都可以,原譯的unhealthy作為比喻,也不能說錯,但問題是an unhealthy wind 是不是一個已有的比喻,如果是創作,母語是英語的人看見an unhealthy wind 能否容易領略到其意思,我看答案是否定的。

所以我們不如直接採用解「不良」的形容詞好了,例如improper, inappropriate, inadvisable, uncalled-for, misguided, erroneous, unscrupulous, malicious, ……, 而眾多形容詞中,我特別喜歡malicious, 因它本來就是法律用語,而為了更配合判辭的level of formality, 我會加上nominalisation, 使a malicious wind 變成a wind of malice,並且採用更地道wind的複數用法,即”winds of malice’。

最後, Winds of malice have been blowing in Hong Kong也不夠好,blow 是 intransitive verb, 沒有說出winds of malice的blowing有什麼影響;我會回歸英文句子”Topic + Comment’ 的information structure, 把topic 改為 Hong Kong, 全句變為:

“In recent years, Hong Kong has been (affected, hit, perturbed, charged, etc.) by winds of malice.”




首先,英語語音學是我其中一個專業範圍,在中大MA ELT 課程曾經任教的一科正是Phonetics and Phonology for English Language Teachers ,故此語常會邀請我拍攝時,而我又覺得會是有趣的經驗,於是便一口答應了。

拍攝這系列,和兩年多前拍「鏗鏘集」,是很不同的經驗;拍「鏗鏘集」,沒有劇本,不需演戲,做回自己便可以了。但參加拍攝《英該點講》,才知道原來拍劇是那麼「大陣象」。大家在ViuTV 看見每集三分鐘好像很簡單,但原來背後的crew是二十人以上 ;每集拍了半天至大半天,還未計前期準備和後期製作。

(1) 生平第一次有女士和我化妝。
(2) 生平第一次有女士和我打點服裝。
(3) Roll 機時不算緊張,可能已習慣不同場合的presentation。
(4) 導演希望我們說話自然,所以不用tele-prompter 。
(5) 由於我有頗多的獨白,我唯有乖乖地花點時間背熟對白。
(6) 每集只有三分鐘,導演對說話的速度要求很嚴格,我們不能加插其他字詞;而導演經常因為我說話不夠快速,而要求重拍。
(7) 每次roll 機時,起碼有八對眼睛盯着我,幸而我也很快便習慣了。
(8) 每一個片段,都要拍長距離、中距離、和近距離,再加上不同角度 ,到最後出現在電視機上的,是先前拍攝的二十分之一也沒有。
(8) 每次拍不同角度和距離,工作人員都要重新擺放灯光、攝影機,又要重新測試收音,檢查道具位置,這些工夫都是很費時的,這亦是為什麼對演員來說,大部分時間花在等。
(9) 整隊拍攝人員,由監製到導演到攝影師到灯光師,都是完美主義者,少少瑕疵也不接受。
(10) 整隊crew很專業,很合拍,和很有默契;導演稍有表示,各崗位的人員立即配合,令我看到team work 的重要。
(11) 整隊crew 比我想像中純樸,沒有我想像中電視台工作人員的習氣,其他的演員也很friendly 和cheerful。
(12) 吃飯不定時,到真正吃飯了,便齊齊吃工作人員買回來的飯盒。
(13) 拍攝不定時,有一天早上八時便要到元朗加洲花園報到。
(14) 難忘的一幕,是拍攝人員知道我來自大學,但不知道我會否很「論盡」,偏偏我的戲份多是獨白,為了讓其他演員可以先走,會留到每天的後期才拍,於是如果我不停NG ,所有人都要延遲收工。所以首天拍攝時他們有點擔心,但是實際拍攝時,我沒有頻頻NG ,到導演表示全部收貨時,全場人竟然同時鼓掌起來!