Our Stories @ ENG: A series in which teaching staff and students share their memories of the ENG Department to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the department. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pride of Place” series.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
Teachings in the English Department
by Tommy Wong Yuk Cheung
It was in the courses offered by the Department of English Language and Literature that I encountered genuine education. Teachings in literature and language make me less likely to take reality for granted.
My first impression of the English department was made by JSP, who constructed a(n) (alternative) “reality” of germ-inhabiting MTR poles and publicly masturbating social media behaviour. Then there was Tammy, who, when teaching Orwell’s 1984, revealed there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. It was Ben who reminded me how ideology-laden discourse is (for instance, “riots” and “protests”). And of course, it was Lian Hee, through his encyclopaedic teaching, that inspired many of my attitudes towards language and life in general.
Recently I was browsing through the archives of Agora, and I found the article “Umbrella Uprising—What We Think”. In the power of words, I felt such an overflow of worry for the young people, deep concern for our city, and ultimate care for humanity. Reading through it, I wept. How relevant? Oh too, too relevant!
The English department reaches way beyond the English language, it is an oasis of enlightenment. May it continue the endeavour for many generations to come.
Tommy Wong Yuk Cheung is a student of the Department of English Language and Literature. [Read all entries by Tommy here.]