Books to Read and Songs to Listen to

Books to Read and Songs to Listen to

UT refers to the Uniform Test, which is a kind of mid-term exam. One strange things about the school system in Hong Kong is that a lot of effort is made to encourage students to develop a reading habit; however, students who naturally want to read are often too busy doing homework or cramming for exams and don’t have the time to read.


OneRepublic vs Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

OneRepublic: Best Band in the Universe
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: The best in the universe!
OneRepublic: The BEST of the BEST in both teh universe and heaven and hell.
But this a fact, just like the sun rises from the east.
What we see may not be the truth. And WHAT is TRUTH? We may not see.

Big Big World

It’s so very cold outside

The song being referred to is Big Big World by Emilia. It’s about 10 years old, but it is still quite popular among students here (in Hong Kong). The video below shows the lyrics to the song:

Here is a live version:

By the way, I am the ‘Richards’ (i.e., not the sexy one). The cool and handsome one is Chris, who was a Teaching Assistant at our school.

I’m still not sure why students here often address me using only my surname.  Maybe they think Mr Richards is too formal and Stephen is too informal, so they go with using the surname by itself (which tends to sound rude). Also, it doesn’t help that my surname sounds like a given name.

Some other  expatriate teachers get around this problem by having students address them with a title and given name (e.g., Mr. Bob, Miss Julie). Does it sound kindergartenish?

I guess it could be worse.  Hong Kong students sometimes given themselves the worst names possible. For example, I have taught:

  • Alien (male)
  • Hitler (male)
  • Beast (female)
  • Monkey (two females)
  • Uranus (one male and one female)

To see more weird names, you can visit:

Autumn’s Concerto (下一站,幸福)

Autumn Concerto: I Love it much

This comment is about a hit Taiwanese television show—a romantic melodrama called Autumn’s Concerto  (下一站,幸福), also known as Next Stop, Happiness.

The drawing, which does not appear to be related to the comment, is of a four-leaf clover—a symbol of luck in Western culture (with the idea probably originating in Ireland).


Mokona & Tsubasa
My Tsubasa is going to end!

xxxHoLic is one of my favourite manga titles. Florence keeps asking me to update the collection in the English Corner (we have the first 12 volumes), but the only place I know in Hong Kong that stocks English language manga is the Page One bookstore and they rarely get new stock.

Cover of xxxHoLic, Vol. 2 (by Clamp)
Cover of xxxHoLic, Vol. 2 (by Clamp)