Saturday, August 23, 2008

Living down the street from a Zen Master

Zen Shorts. This is a Caldecott Award winner for the beautiful artwork.Jon J Muth. Worthy of being framed. His work are visually tantilizing. Gentle, simple yet rich, filled with depth and wonderfully colorful. This book is not like any other picture story books that I read, it introduces readers to a Zen approach to the world by three stories told by Stillwater, the Panda that just moved into the neighbourhood.
One rainy afternoon, a giant panda appears in the backyard of three siblings. One by one, the children visit Stillwater, sharing a relaxing and fun afternoon with him while listening to his tales.
"Drawing was my way of making things exist which didn't exist."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Enjoy your typhoon with a cup of tea ;)

My love of typhoon started with my first contact with internet back in Primary school.
I learnt reading radar images and discussion group from HKO and HK Weather Underground website on the first time I got my hands on the internet. lol
Last night//This morning - the crazy waves, with random water splashing upwards in a long line!
Whenever a typhoon is moving towards HK, I feel like we are about to witness some historical moments. Having some basic knowledge towards typhoon structure, I was really excited to learn about Weather and Climate, and was excitedly reading AL textbook that So sir lend me, during CE lol. But I still know so little about typhoons..... aw..... I hope I can know more 
My home is a great point to witness the changes of the sky - layers of cloud and also the movements of the water. Wow, the wind direction is so obvious

From: icyconnie
Views: 1,471 
Honors for this video (2)
#71 - Most Discussed (Today) - Travel & Events - Hong Kong
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"At 1 p.m., Typhoon Nuri was centred about 60 kilometres east-southeast of Hong Kong Observatory (near 22.0 degrees north 114.7 degrees east) and is forecast to move northwest at about 14 kilometres per hour in the general direction of Hong Kong.

Gales are already affecting many places in the territory. Local winds are expected to increase further. Higher signals will be issued shortly. "

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Discovered a lot of wonderful books in Page One these days. It'd be so good if there are picture-story bookshops in HK, like the one in Edinburgh, or museums in Japan.... I wish I have money to buy these books! ..... oh well
So looking forward to Wachifield shop and Ghibli Museum!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Moleskin Summer 08'

 click to enlarge. bits and pieces from my unfinished summer, extracted from my moleskin notebook*

Sunday, August 17, 2008

CDC 5 Party!

It should have been an even happier day, I feel bad for making a mistake that I could have avoided.
I invited two ex-SB staffs to join our party today, as they were both teachers of our CDC last year.
Knowing that they would speak cantonese, I actually reminded them that it'd be "English all the time" today. I hesitated whether I should include them or not, but I tried to think from their point of view, and decided if I were them, I would really love to see my students again if I dun get to teach them this year.
Even though their impact was reduced by their late arrival and early departure, but our fragile atmosphere was already slightly affected. Thankfully, most of them were still very great, respecting Vanessa who didn't know Chinese, and trying their best to speak English. But I just feel bad for making such mistake, as this is the first time I met with this group of SB students after SB this summer, and I didn't want anything to affect their expectations on our future meet ups.
Apart from the frustrating part, we had a great time making sandwiches, waffle + ice cream etc. together! We also watched our Celebration video!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Letter in Mailbox

Got a letter in my home's mailbox today! I'm so excited! It's just totally unexpected!!!. Sometimes we have such big impact on our students without knowing it. 
Had a lot of great chats with students recently as well
Hot pot tonight. Arts department love!!!!! (Amy and Stephen are missing though) I really love all the time spent with my department right from the beginning .
I love you fish. 


On our way to the Sai Kung pier yesterday, we passed by the SPCA x G.O.D home. I've been thinking about it since then, I wish I could go back and visit the little bb-s again. They're such magnificent animals, it melts my heart seeing their eyes. They seems to long for love, attention and care. Or just someone to pat them a bit while they are in the cage alone most of the day. 
My heart feels so heavy when I think about these strayed animals, and look in their eyes. 
Doing a job which you can offer your love to those who are in need must be great. "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" 
Oh little dog, I need your love and comfort too, as my real life is so frigid to me. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SB Staff Boat trip

Played in the sea today yay yay yay. 
The water was just the right temperature!
Can't believe that SB has ended already
But more Summerbridge love on its way. 
Sometimes I feel like I am just not good enough to do Summerbridge, as there are too many amazing people in the programme! 

Post-"My summer in 3 minutes"

"We'll share about the love, support that changed our lives" 

People around me should have noticed how I cannot stop thinking about the songs from Celebration, and it's not only me, every morning, staffs walks into the staff room singing/humming the songs. (esp. the poly u crew) 
On Celebration, the Graduation Ceremony has always been a fun and light-hearted thing, it has never ever been such a teary one like this year. Thanks to Gary's speech, eh? 
Can you believe that SB08 has officially ended already? This summer has obviously been a really different one for me. Sometimes when Holing talks about her experience in Summerbridge, it reminds me of myself on the first year. 
As I said before, I came back of course because I thought Summerbridge is a great programme, which could really make a change in people's life, I've always strongly believed in the importance of love of learning; but the biggest reason was simply because I really love students from SBHKGV.CDC5, I wish to see them again, to see them grow and become a leader as returning students.
However, I have learnt so much more about this programme and myself through this summer which I didn't expected. I came to understand a lot of things that I didn't understood last summer, and in reflection, I realized how innocent/immature I was/still am. And it reminds me of some of the things that I have always known since I was a secondary school student, but have somehow forgotten.
This summer, I learnt the great importance of believing in every student - no matter how bad they seems to be in terms of their class performance or attitude, there must be a reason behind, and with love and support, everything is possible (ya...)  I met some amazing friends among the staffs, and have learnt so much from them. I realized the power of professionalism. I connected with 80% of the students, and know the returning students on a more personal level. I witnessed the great impact of Summerbridge has on the students.... 
It was sweet and touching to see how united and close the returning students this year were. 
I understand why K.yan and Rico didn't want to get on the bus on Celebration night, I felt the same. SB is such an amazing place, I don't want to leave, and I guess it'd feel even stronger for the students, as they come from a very different background from us, they get less choice in life. It's a feeling that I didn't have and wouldn't have last summer. 

I guess I am still in this process of transition, from the ideal Summerbridge life back to our real life. It's also in process of making me a better person. I totally understand how SB is over, but our memories will stay forever, but at the same time, I am struggling with redefining the relationship between me and my students after SB etc. - As for my own life, I always thought keeping in touch is a very difficult or impossible thing, as our lives changes so quickly, we meet new people and experience new things, when people meet again, it's often awkward; I worried/foresee that this could happen to me and my students as well, and I wonder what I should do, should I just let it be, or should I make a bigger effort to keep in touch with them, and if I do, why? Why shall the effort be spent? 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Morning

Celebration made me feel so so so happy and proud of my students! It's amazing that, as form 2/3 students, they stood on the stage speaking with their second language, with so much confidence! 
I woke up this morning thinking about the students, and I still miss them so much...
First day of Staff Eval week, fun fun eval writing party, and it was actually quite fun, we sat around the table supporting and mourning together. The coffee bit was the best? I wish I could stay in this wonderful place longer. Summerbridge... Going to do something for "my summer in 3 minutes" but dunno what to do yet....
P.S. Stephen left this morning, it's really sad, and SB is so different without him...
P.P.S. Watched Le Renard et l'enfant today, it's really really lovely, the way it's filmed and everything. The nature, that we are so far from! 


I seriously need a good transition out from my two years of Summerbridge life, separating from these people that I know and love is so difficult... especially in this world, where everything changes so so so quickly  (especially/even myself). 
Gary, Sophia, Marco, Brian, Koey, Phoebe, Tommy, Zoro, Alma, Lena, Avril, Family six, Matt, Candy, Sonny, Shirley, Katrina, Jimmy, Maggie lam!, Sarah, Tiffany.... 

I miss holding Little Phoebe's hands and giving her support as she walk in the Olympics Opening. Summerbridge is a great place because it gives chances to those who don't usually get much attention. 
Matt was in my family for two summers, his crying face made me so sad. 
Tiffany hugs me whenever she sees me. 
Family six is the craziest family ever! We never had enough time during family time.
"You are my best friend who is very important in my life in SB. Everytime, even I have exciting experience or unhappy moments I will tell you and share with you." - Avril, wow, her English has improved so much. 
Tommy's kudos touched my heart, I always worry if he hates my class because he doesn't really like art, but he still try his best, and thanked me for helping him all the time.  
Katrina and Sophia became a very different person, no longer "too cool to do anything"
Maggie and Jimmy; Gary and Sarah hahaha
I will miss Maggie's cute face, and am so glad that she is not so stressed this year. Sarah is one of the best person to chat with. 
Jimmy was so stressed and scared before he enters the hall yesterday, he was sweating and shivering, but everything turned out fine, and judging from the Jimmy I know, I am sure he's as sad as I am at the moment. 
Most SB students are popular because they are crazy, loud and leads cheers in ASM all the time. However, Gary!, he was always mentioned by many students as their most important friend in SB, because of his caring and warm personality. Everything in SB is possible, except for one thing, it's impossible not to love Gary. He has always been such a big brother, caring for students who have big problems focusing in class, when no one else want to be with them. 

It feels difficult to keep in touch after Summerbridge, and even when we meet, it might be feel so different, without an ASM to start with, not so much excitement towards doing cheers, probably not so much common topics? And I feel so scared that even myself, will lose the urge to see everyone again soon after I got over this mood; when the trivial matters start over-flooding my life again. 
I love SB as it's a place of love and support, where people are so caring and positive. Why can't more places be like Summerbridge? 
17th August, 2008 SBHKGV07.CDC5 reunion to celebrate Marco's birthday ;) yay! 
It was hard to tell them that it's still English all the time after they graduate Summerbridge, but yes, it'd still be English all the time when we meet, because they are so much sweeter when they speak in English (impair by language, they became a few years younger, and so much more purer!) and it's great to have a chance for them to practice oral English, even after SB is over! 

"Things won't be the same when we wake up tomorrow
Our time has passed, but love will last. The memories that we share will last forever." 

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today is the big day of Summerbridge - Celebration
The students greeted the 6 buses of visitors under the Island School sun. We entered the hall with our spirit torches, along the shiny lights, falling balloons, and Olympics song, walking behind Shirley. Celebration 2008 started as the Spirit Torch is lit. 

Our Celebration seems to have lasted really long!
We all cried so much when Gary did his speech. It's our last night together IN Summerbridge, to celebrate and share all that we have learnt in these two summers. The returning student speech/song and graduation makes me feel so sad. I feel like I KNOW every returning student, their little fears, their worries on peer pressure, their small craves... having to part makes me so sad.
I came back this year because of a simple and innocent reason, I gained so much more of other things, but at the same time I fulfilled my wish/aim. It was after all the biggest reason I did SB2008, and I am glad I did it. 

I had been looking forward to Celebration for awhile, these few days, we have been doing closure, preparing for celebration etc. All my excitement and sadness seems to be provoked by things happening in Summerbridge. I seems to have forgot that I have a life outside SB. I seriously need a transition back to the real world. Help me to find back my life in the "real world"

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today is the Celebration of Summerbridge SIS and CIS! yay! 
As for the Island School site, we had a full dress rehearsal for tomorrow's Celebration!
The day lasted from  7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Summerbridge is a surreal place, this place makes me feel as if I were having a big crush on someone. 

"We love Sb, it has changed me, support, respect, loving others endlessly. 
I will not forget, the so so so special time. All the memories will never leave my mind."

Crazy, tomorrow is Celebration. I am so going to cry. Especially when I think about the students that I have known for two years, which I watched them grew from a new student to be a returning leader! Katrina and Marco who got their recognition that they longed for , Sophia who is no longer disruptive but so much more mature; Jimmy who never talked last year but now a cheerleader in SB! Koey, who I thought only cares about what she wears, but now participate all the time even in "Sponsors ASM" and wrote a song to the teachers all by herself.....! 
and also when we I think about all the friendship between us... 
I wish I have time to talk with all of them, to say Thank you to them.

This year I look forward to Celebration a lot. 
There seems to be a second layer of meaning to this special event, it is not only a time to celebrate all the things they have learnt, but also a celebration for all the great time we had together, all the love that we share, the new friends that we made, the supports that we have got, the confidence that we have gained.... and so much more......
I look forward to see them be on stage, to be proud to share everything that they have experienced and gained in Summerbridge

Friday, August 8, 2008

You are special in my life

Last Day in Summerbridge | Today was a really really happy day, full of surprises =)

During Closure, a lot of teachers and students cried a lot, and surprisingly, I didn't. I don't want to admit, but I guess it's because I don't feel a strong connection with the students I teach this year. 

|I love our classroom|

So since this is the last day of SB, we have especially long kudos time for students to stand up and say thanks to their new friends made in SB or teachers. I was really stunned and touched by the number of kudos I've got today :P Sonny said I am the "champion of kudos" :P And Shirley said it's like a "Kudos-for-Connie-time" hahaha... But despite the numbers, they were all really really touching. 
Tiffany, Sophia and Matt who I taught last year gave me kudos, and Tommy who I taught this year gave me a kudos - because he's not good in art, but I always help him to come up with ideas (I almost start all the projects for him lol :P ) And also Nelly, Vaness, Yuki etc. 
Gary, lol, gave me a big kudos, for all the special letters and cards we wrote to eachother (....) AND he said that "you are special in my life" awwwwwww.....
I'll miss them all so much, and I am so touched that they still have me in their hearts even though I don't teach them at all this year. (And we rarely get time to chat during a busy SB day)  They are all really special to me too!
After the long day, we had art department dinner, then Holing and I went to the SB OFFICE! It was fun! 
P.S. i have no time to write letter, i just got home, and i feel so bad for that
Summerbridge means waking up early, working till late, writing letters all the time, panicking before lessons, frustrated after bad lessons, but at the same time, there is so much love, so much care, everyone is highly-spirited and supportive... It is the one place that makes me feel happy and positive all the time. 
Why is there so much love in Summerbridge?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Sweet Taste of Trivial Things

In Summerbridge, teachers do cheers and form a bridge to greet the students every morning, both sunny and rainy days. Last Friday was CDC tea time, the teachers stayed on the same bus for staff meeting on the way there, while the students were on the other buses. 
The students arrived earlier than we did, and guess what, they formed the bridge and greeted the staffs off the bus!In Mong Kok! Crazy, this is crazy.... so sweet. 
"Thanks for all of your letters and the Christmas card you sent me =), if i can't keep in touch with Connie, I will never forget all the memory we have!" 
Gary, a very very great student that I taught last year wrote me a long long letter recently. Reading it makes me wanna cry. SB is really crazy. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Students Home

Po Tat Estate, in Sau Mau Ping such an unfamiliar and mysterious name. Going to a part of HK that I don't often go feels like an adventure, I enjoy it a lot.
Today, I was invited to a students' Birthday tiny party at her home. Since she only invited her close SB friends, we get to have long relaxing chats without time limitation as we do in the busy SB time schedule. 
Visiting them at their home also feels like knowing them deeper in a different way, I didn't even know that 3 of them were immigrants from China (as we were looking at their kindergarden pictures today) 
Her home is quite spacious, mainly because she doesn't have much things? The walls are very bare, and they don't have an air conditioner (they don't have one, not that they didn't turn it on) All the bookshelves in the living room are filled with worksheets from school. Maggie is a very very hardworking girl, a perfectionist. And they use water bottles as cups to serve water lol. 
In SB, everyone's personality seems so 3-dimensional, and so unique. I wonder why some of my friends outside of SB are so mean and negative. 

Friday, August 1, 2008


Apart from love of learning, speaking English all the time, bravery, respect.... *friendship* is also one of the most amazing thing you see among SB students (and staffs!) 

I always find it amazing when the FTs (Future Teachers) go out to celebrate birthday with their CDC classmates, even though they have "graduated" from Summerbridge for 2 whole years. Or how they meet up every Sunday to shop and play mahjong. It's such simple thing but touching and revealing. 

Four of my students are extremely close friends - Gary, Zoro, Ken and Tommy. Ken and Tommy were sick recently, Ken looked really tired one day, we suggested him to go home and take a rest. However, his answer surprised us, he said "But SB is my home", so we let him nap in the sick room for awhile. He felt really guilty afterwards, that he had to skip the class. He also told us that he is very glad that he came to Summerbridge. "I have never made such great friendships in my life, even though I see my friends in school everyday, but I never get to talk with them the way I talk with my friends in Summerbridge. They are so supportive and caring to me all the time" :'( 

Another four good friends surprised me so much and invited me to their birthday party on the coming week. (I would think that it's a big decision for them to make, as, if i go, then it'd be English all the time for them lol) 
Jimmy, Maggie, Sarah and Tiffany were all in my CDC last year, but are no longer classmates this year, they come from different schools and have very different backgrounds - Maggie is a perfectionist, star student.. while Jimmy can barely speak or write English last year. Also, it's not common that students of this age to be best friend with opposite genders. I didn't know that they were such good friends earlier. I am so glad that I get to be 'twins' with them on Crazy Hair Twins Day. 

I find it really sweet that they take time out to celebrate a SB friend's birthday, as they could have spent it to sleep, to do homework, spend it with their friends outside.... but they chose to celebrate her birthday with her.... 

SB is such a loving and magical place, it's where miracles can happen. That's why we always say that everything is possible all the time in ASM. lol