English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 9 2015 Thursday           
Life is like a stage?

I like driving not because I have one of those fancy sports cars that races along highways. Mine is only a Honda Jazz. I enjoy the feel of immersing myself in the tunes and lyrics of my favourite oldies. But at times, I would listen to the radio music programmes so that I would not be too out-dated of the pop charts. Who knows? I might like some of the new tunes.

 It was nine in the evening on a weekday and the programme was hosted by a popular DJ who has a very soothing voice. As usual, he started off the one-hour programme with his comments on the theme chosen for the evening - “life is like a stage and we are all actors…” He continued by saying that we should dutifully do our part in this play called “life”, that we should be “in” our character and know our lines but if we can get out of our character, we can see more clearly.

 I cannot agree with his views because I don’t believe in destiny. It would be so pathetic waking up in the morning knowing well that “whatever has to happen will happen” and we are but doing what we have been ordained to do.
This is very often the case with DJs. The fact that they own that one hour doesn’t mean they can ramble on whatever they like. They have to shoulder their social responsibility. I remember I once heard the DJ of a phone-in programme mocking a caller. “How can a young girl like you be home on a Sunday afternoon? You should be hanging out! You have no friends?”

 Oh well, I turned off the radio and went back to my disc – the Great Pretender by The Platters!

Oh yes, I'm the great pretender
Pretending I'm doing well
My need is such
I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell

Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 8 2015 Wednesday 

Bean Bean's bowl raised

Have you ever noticed how a dog eats? Like a human eating from a bowl while doing push-ups!

I feed Bean Bean with dry food which comes in small bites for senior dogs. Each time, Bean Bean has to stretch his neck and exert great strength to pick up the food from the bowl. His muscle from the neck down the back is fully strained! I feel bad for him knowing  well that he suffers from back pain.

"Only if I can elevate the bowl!"

It was Bean Bean's good luck that I bumped into a Japanese pet store offering all kinds of goods that pet owners can think of or have ever imagined! As I was early for my appointment as usual, I entered and browsed!

There they are - bowl stands of different designs and colours. One of these was a wooden one for a single bowl. It came with extensions for the legs to be adjusted. It cost $200.

I took the package home, unwrapped it and quickly assembled the pieces. But all the while, Bean Bean was barking at the stand ferociously. To him, it was an intruder! I had to tempt him patiently by putting his favourite treats one after another in the bowl placed on the stand.

Finally, after half an hour, Bean Bean put down his guard and took his dinner from the bowl. He did not have to lower his neck anymore!
Silly dig owners!

Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 6 2015 Monday 
Bean Bean is aging

People who have never had a dog as pet can never undersrand or empathize with dog owners for treating dogs as children. I, for one, take Bean Bean, my dog for close to 15 years, as my child. I don't just feed him. That is the very basic. I will care for him till death do we part!

Dogs are routine creatures and so once they behave differently, something must be wrong.

Bean Bean excretes inside the cage covered with diapers and elevated with a basin underneath. About a month ago, I noticed that Bean Bean had difficulty getting inside the cage. He put the right fore paw first on the edge, hesitated, then as though gathering all his strength jumped inside!

I took him to the vet. The diagnosis was he had back problem but operation was not advised because of his advanced age.

Bean Bean has, since then, been taking pain killers. The drugs work miracle but maybe with unwarranted side-effect. Bean Bean is back to his playful self jumping in and out the cage at ease! 

Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 4 2015  Saturday     

Being different is good!

We were dining with a friend’s family of four, our friend and wife and their teenage sons.   The elder boy, aged 18 and taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) this year asked what he should do in a discussion if he did not agree with his friends. He said that he usually held his silence because he dared not be different. He tried to blend in with his peers but was not happy doing so.  He wanted to air his view and have it debated but he lacked the courage to face accusations of being difficult or even taken as a weirdo!

It is truly not easy to be different because society frowns on individuality and quickly labels anyone who isn't like everyone else. This has discouraged a lot of people from being themselves. We love to belong and so end up understanding little beyond our own flock.

Here is one celebrity we can learn from – Angelina Jolie! She dares to be different. She had just had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in a preventative measure against ovarian cancer. Only two years ago, she had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.

Here is Angelina Jolie’s acceptance speech at the Kid's Choice Awards on March 28 2015.  She won the best villain award for her role in Maleficent. 


Different is good!

So don’t fit in!

Don’t sit still!

Don’t ever try to be less than what you are!

And when someone tells you that you are different,

smile and hold your head up high and be proud

Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 2 2015  Thursday  
         Meaningful assignment

I wanted to take their photo but on second thought, I didn’t. They were two boys of around twelve. It was only 8 early Sunday morning. They were diligently studying the railroad map on board the West Rail Line leaving the Hung Hom Station for Tuen Mun. I was pleasantly amused and so though I would be getting off at the next station, I tried to start a conversation with them. 


They were shy and replied rather reluctantly. I knew they were Secondary 1 classmates co-operating on a project to visit various landmarks along the rail line. They had been given 4 hours to finish the task of taking a photo at each location. And so their discussion was about how best to finish the trail in the shortest possible time. They had several information sheets to guide them.


That was a really engaging assignment with the boys truly enjoying the process. The teacher(s) must have put in a lot of efforts in preparing the task. These students were applying knowledge in real life situation and were practising team spirit and communications skills. 


But then as a school administrator, I started to sense risk there. These boys were not accompanied and they were charting unfamiliar territories. All the “what ifs” came to my mind and sent chills down my spine. For fear of accidents and the subsequent insurance claims etc., school heads find their hands tied. Primary school pupils are not allowed to run in recess. There are prefects and monitors yelling at the top of their voice “Don’t run”! We all know after sitting in the classrooms for two hours, what can be more relaxing than a good run in open space! Teachers are afraid of children bumping into each other in the corridors and so the rule is children are to walk. They only run during Physical Education lessons which are once and at most twice a week or on Sports Day and Picnic Day which come once in a year!


And this situation is not unique in Hong Kong. I read in newspapers that some schools in England are not holding Sports Day anymore because they cannot afford the insurance!


Random Thoughts by Pauline

April 1 2015  Wednesday
             Birds of a feather

What do people talk about when they congregate and chat over a cup of aromatic coffee or simmering hot-pot? People who hang out together must have something in common that they share – same likes and dislikes, same foes and friends, same fears and joys, same celebrations and problems etc. And of course, they also set up chat groups to facilitate the flow of information. In other words, even when they are not meeting physically, they keep on chatting.

Lately, I discover that the hottest conversation topic among me and my long-time classmates, whether actual or virtual, is definitely health! We would share first-hand personal experience or internet information about healthy diets, early detection or prevention of various illnesses, surgical operation details etc.  Next would be around our children but these days more about grandchildren. We also love to share our travel logs. What else? Do we bring up political issues like the Occupy Central Movement? No, we don’t simply because this would stir up commotions and sabotage the party! We prefer to hold our political stance to ourselves.     



My classmates and I were all born in the same year, only older or younger in terms of months. Previously, we did not often meet, only on school anniversaries. On the occasion of the 5oth anniversary of our secondary school graduation, I suggested that as we advance in age, we should meet more frequently. To my pleasant surprise, they concurred with me. Now, we are meeting every other month.