For Hong Kong and the World, I have the same professor as the one who recognized me by this blog in Humanity in Globalization. Now that I know he recognizes me, I’ll admit that it is a little frightening to go to (either class), though of course I do. As a matter of fact, actually, I have not even been late to a class yet, much less been absent from a lecture or a tutorial. This is not to say that I’ve never known a professor who lectures a class I'm in before. It’s happened before—the only difference is that I became acquainted with that professor through contact face-to-face so to speak, not through this cyber world, which I’ll admit I do not feel the safest in—but enough of that.
As I write this blog, I’m wrapping up from my term paper of sorts for this class and currently taking a break. This assignment for this class is not long at all—about 800 to 1,000 words as a guideline—but as the syllabus says, “don’t let the length of this assignment lull you into complacency.” So much to the delight of people who care about my academic well being (namely my parents and myself), I’m almost done with this paper, a full week before it’s due.
Not that this is a hard paper—as the professor is a (former) journalist now doing consultant work, he assigned us to write an editorial of sorts. Never in my formal academic education in English classes had I properly taught how to write an editorial. But for me, that’s okay, because I was part of the Journalism class throughout my four years in high school, culminating in my being editor-in-chief for the monthly publication.
In Beginning Journalism, we were told the basics of how to write well-structured, concise-yet-adequately-descriptive piece, later specifying the specifics of news writing, opinion-editorial, sports, feature, etc. So, while I never became the best of the best while I was in that class, I definitely became a good writer in self-development after high school.
Part of it was the fact that my high school actually had a good writing program. When I arrived at UCSD, I found that many people had no idea how to form a thesis and that many more could not make their papers flow smoothly in both the stylistic and logical senses. (Though I have no idea how my blog posts read since I don’t take the time any more to go read them over again before publishing. I like to say that it makes it more real, since a lot of what I write is in stream-of-consciousness, but ultimately, when, and not if, I read this entire endeavor again, I might have to reevaluate that past statement.)
Editorials have never been my high point though, and in the syllabus, the lecturer expressly states that the paper should read like an editorial and not a research paper. Cool; not a problem—I went to latimes.com and read a few to get me back in editorial writing mode, and the style flew back in.
The topic of the editorial itself is up to us. The criteria are that it has to be about Hong Kong and that it has to be about Hong Kong in the world. Fair enough. So far in class, we’ve only been talking about Hong Kong’s role in the world mostly in economic terms and less in political terms. Weekly topics range over several aspects of Hong Kong, each one being put into terms of Hong Kong’s economic future and viability into the future or Hong Kong’s relations with world sovereigns, including China.
Because of this weighting, guest speakers for the class have been businessmen except for two members of the Hong Kong Government Legislative Council, one of whom a (former) journalist. All have been very insightful, though the businessmen not so much into political matters. All were prompted about what makes Hong Kong special, to which they answered our weekly topic, like Rule of Law or Free Flow of Information slash Freedom of Speech. They were also all asked about Hong Kong’s future, to which they replied positively and almost whole-heartedly optimistic. The problem is that big CEOs are paid to be optimistic—it keeps their share prices up.
Needless to say, I did my topic on Hong Kong’s viability economically as Asia’s World City in the light of growing Chinese cities and an increasingly favorable climate as contrasted with Hong Kong’s disadvantages. I make my case for Hong Kong needing more creative industries, sponsored by the government if need be, to create a identity for Hong Kong that goes beyond former British Colony and international financial center.
But more about my term paper later. Right now I have to send a birthday card to my brother so that it’ll get there before next Wednesday. Tomorrow I get to go to the United States Consulate-General in Hong Kong to add more visa/entry/exit pages, since I’m running low and planning to travel several more times before I fly back home right before Christmas.
Copyright © 2009 James Philip Jee
This work may not be reproduced by any means without express permission of the author.
2 years ago