Our Stories @ ENG: Chau Cheuk Man Charmaine


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.]

by Chau Cheuk Man Charmaine

Being aware of a starting point is often not as easy as we think. It is like how you pick up a random key without knowing where the keyhole is, or even the location of the door will lead you through. I bet the journey through the English Language and Literature Department is something of this kind.

I could barely finish an English text when I was first admitted to the programme. It is not that I did not recognise the alphabet. It is never difficult to check the meaning of unfamiliar words with a dictionary app. Yet, I could not go any further. They are just words.

(wɜːdz wɜrdz wɜːdz)

I remember how one of the first lectures on Introduction to the Study of Literature struck me in LT2. It sounded like a foreign language to me. Nevertheless, it was just the kind of language I decided to learn. I felt so ashamed that it was not until I lost track of time on level 5 of the library, I understood the sensation of reading. Nineteen Eighty-Four was the book. It was then I found the boarding gate to travel via literature, theory and films.

(Umbrellas flocked to Harcourt Road)

I remember all those heated discussions of yellow, blue and red and the collective imagination of the “floating city” in the Hong Kong Stories classroom. I think this was how I started being able to listen to Hong Kong, or the (hi)storyteller of Hong Kong to be specific.

(ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM)

All these years, I have been obsessed with the thin line between the “real” and the imagined. I am attracted to the transformation between the adaptation and the “original” via Genremorphosis. I am thrilled to discover the synthesis and translation between texts and minds.

There might have been more to be remembered and a lot that I have already forgotten. Yet, the English Language and Literature Department will always be one of the most fertile ground that has cultivated me and the place where I found the key to a brave new world.

Chau Cheuk Man Charmaine


CharmaineChau Cheuk Man Charmaine is a graduate of the Department of English and Department of Education (Class of 2016). [Read all entries by Charmaine.]

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