English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

September 24 2014 Wednesday     

Ice Bucket Challenge

For the past months, you must have all come across photos or videos showing celebrities or friends taking up the Ice Bucket Challenge for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. How do you feel watching these people enduring this ice cold shower in various forms? I, for one, don’t feel like watching! But as a fund-raising activity, it is extremely successful. According to the press release of Hong Kong Neuro-Muscular Disease Association on September 8, a total of $20 million was raised, 20 times that of the target amount of $200,000!


The Ice Bucket Challenge requires nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominate others to do the same. As can be expected in this internet era of social media, this activity has gone viral and attracted tremendous public attention. Prior to the challenge, public awareness of ALS was minimal but now we have become familiar with the disease.


I feel uneasy seeing people suffer even though it is for a good cause! This reminds me of Operation Santa Claus, a charity drive originated in the 1960s long before the time of the internet and is still very robust! The name itself suggests already that it takes place during Christmas, traditionally speaking a time for giving. Popular DJs would pull crazy stunts including jumping into the chilly Victoria Harbour, reading poetry on roofs and climbing flagpoles. 


Anybody wanting to take the challenge must have a strong heart and must also find a safe place and do it in good weather conditions because news reports abound with accidents and even tragedies of these good Samaritans getting heart attack or being electrocuted while performing the act!


Random Thoughts by Pauline

September 5 2014, Friday
 Young calves

The Chinese saying goes like this: New-born calves are not scared of tigers.

This is what came to my mind as I watched in admiration those young people on screen. They were screaming for justice, barricading streets, holding overnight vigil and getting arrested right in front of our eyes. I have the greatest respect for their courage and determination. But as a teacher, a parent and a grand-parent, I hope their deeds are informed choices. I am not worried about those organizers old and young because they know why they are doing what they are doing.

Calves are ignorant of what injury tigers can inflict on them and so they dare the tigers! Do these young followers know what they are fighting for? Do they know they might be physically injured or get a criminal record that would affect the rest of their lives? Now university students are crying out to boycott classes! These young people have exhausted the last ounce of energy to get themselves admitted and yet they are now skipping classes! And organizers are even encouraging secondary school students to join in! Legally speaking, these students are only minors.

I know fighting for a cause does carry a romantic appeal but as in all romantic affairs, there is a price to pay. Only mature adults who are well informed of the whole situation and who can afford the price should tread this path.