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.]
What Makes a University a University
by Pino Cao
I posted such words (as in the picture, which I’ve already translated into English) after submitting my undergraduate Honours Project. Looking back, I realise this project is a crystallisation of my experience in the English department. It is here that I begin to transform my interest in literature into academic research, which of course cannot be separated from the help I got from all my professors.
I remember Dr Tammy Ho took the time to meet me every month while I prepared the thesis on Pai Hsien-yung 白先勇 and James Joyce, encouraging me, suggesting changes to the structure, and helping correct the grammar with patience and enthusiasm. Not to mention the knowledge in a number of domains I gleaned from her four courses, such as Dystopian Fiction and Modern Drama. I also could not forget Dr Ruth Hung answering my questions in every email when I was not adapting to the course quite well at the start, and Professor Terry Yip, who ignited my interest in Comparative Studies, as well as sharing ideas about my Honours Project proposal.
As mentioned, in my project, I focus on Pai Hsien-yung, one of my favourite Chinese-language authors, in a comparison with James Joyce; I was lucky enough to meet Pai himself in March this year and told him about my project. Isn’t this the best reward for my studies in the department?
As Mei Yiqi says, ‘what makes a university a university is its great masters, not its impressive buildings’. Such is the case with the Department of English Language and Literature In Chinese culture, sixty years could be called a jiazi 甲子, which signifies the culmination of a complete cycle, and I sincerely hope the department can move towards a brighter future with the combined effort of so many great people!
Pino CAO Xumeng is a graduate of the Department of English Language and Literature (Class of 2018). [Read all entries by Pino here.]