Sleeping Beauty sleeps for a hundred years.
I hope I can always stand by thee.
I love you, can’t you hear?
I can’t explain so clear
Can I dream of you once more.
This time I really hurt badly
Sorry for disturbing you such a long time.
We are just friends…
I hope you could be here and be with me.
I hope you can read this page…we are best friends. sosad =(
“I’m black so what? My skin is black since I was born. I don’t like it and stop teasing me.”
I usually don’t know exactly what the things written in our notebooks are about, but in this case I do. During a lesson, a teacher made a joke about a student’s dark complexion, which greatly annoyed the girl.
I think in all cultures, there is a lot of emphasis on beauty, but one criticism I would make about Hong Kong culture is that the concept of beauty here is very narrowly defined. To be considered beautiful, a girl should have a fair complexion (the paler the better), be slim and preferably have long hair, an oval face and a noticeable crease in the upper-eyelid (called a ‘double-eyelid’); and she should not have an epicanthic fold and definitely not have ‘slanted eyes’ (sorry, I know this term can be offensive, but I haven’t been able to think of a better term to use).
And what is an epicanthic fold? This is another eyelid characteristic. It is an additional fold in the upper eyelid that gives eyes a narrower and/or almond shaped appearance. This, combined with single eyelids gives eyes what people in the West would call an exotic or Asian look (a look which is considered unattractive in many Asian countries).
So that’s one problem—it is very difficult to be considered attractive here as there are so many criteria to meet. If the girl who wrote the above complaint goes overseas, instead of being derided because of her ‘black skin’, she would likely get complimented on her great tan or her beautiful coffee-colored complexion.
Another problem is that people are generally very open and direct when commenting on appearance. It is quite common to hear overweight boys being addressed as ‘Fei Tzai’ (Fat Boy) by . . . well everyone—family members, friends, teachers, strangers. So-called unattractive girls are routinely called ‘Pork Chop’ by their male schoolmates. I’ve heard the girl who wrote the diary entry above being called ‘black girl’ several times.
The defense for this kind of name-calling is that the person being criticized doesn’t really mind or that it’s acceptable because it is part of the culture. I would argue that both of these assumptions are mistaken.
This student must have been having a particularly bad day. Our school places a strong emphasis on discipline , so students (who tend to be looking for more freedom) and teachers sometimes end up being opponents. Piracy is a misspelling of ‘privacy’, but spelling might not seem that important when you are so angry.
Privacy is a touchy issues in schools. Do teachers have the right to search bags and desks? Do schools have the right to monitor emails or blog postings sent from computers on its premises? Do students give up all rights once they are on school property?
The names of the teachers have been deleted. This is one of the few occasions when we needed to censor the notebooks (it broke the rule that writers are not to name the people they are attacking). Some of the comments in our notebooks and sketchbooks are very negative. I’m not sure if this is an accurate reflection of reality. After all, if you are happy with your teacher, you can easily express your appreciation directly to him/her. If you are really annoyed, writing your feelings in a diary is probably a safer option.
The AL (Advanced Level) examinations are taken at the end of Form 7 (Grade 13). They serve as university entrance exams and you must pass all subjects to be eligible for a university degree place. It addition, The higher your grades are, the better your chance is of studying a subject that you actually want to study.
They are very difficult exams (much more difficult than the HKCEE exams that are described in the post Afraid of Everything (https://nobm.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/afraid-of-everything/) and the subjects go into much greater detail than anything I studied in Grade 13 in Canada). Taking the exams puts a lot of pressure on students.
These two exams are being phased out and will soon be replaced by a single exam at the end of Form 6 (Grade 12). One positive thing is that the exams won’t be as difficult as the A-levels. Of course, the drawback is that there is only one exam, so it is sort of an ‘all-or-nothing’ arrangement.