Interview with Supervisor Or Choi Kuen
My strongest impression of Supervisor Or is his steady and piercing gaze throughout the interview. Supervisor Or likes to look people in their eyes when talking, as if trying to look into your soul. He smiles a lot too, making it very comfortable for our nervous student interviewers.
Taking off his glasses, Supervisor Or smiled and said, “look at the thickness of the lenses; it’s the result of my industrious school years back then. To learn better English, I used to carry my Oxford dictionary around, squeezing as much time as I could to recite vocabulary and phrases to improve my English; all to achieve my goals.”Supervisor Or went on to explain the origin of his name. He was named by his grandmother with the hope that he could become rich and powerful. His grandfather fled from mainland China in the last century; the family lived a very hard and impoverished life. Supervisor Or’s grandparents cast all their hopes onto their grandson, wishing that one day, he could be wealthy and powerful.
His poverty-stricken childhood had a strong influence on him “I grew up in the sixties in a miserably small house. I didn’t have my own desk so I had to bend my body and did my revision under the stairs. Until primary six, I was constantly questioned by my English teachers in class. I could not even spell simple words like ‘newspapers’ right.” Eventually, he entered a private secondary school because of his unsatisfactory performance in the secondary school placement test. Supervisor Or understood that the chance for private school students to get into university was slim. But his difficult childhood had not defeated him, instead, it nurtured his positive and tough going character. With great determination and diligence, he became a university student. He walked proudly into his dream programme - the Department of Chemistry of University of Hong Kong.
“Although I didn’t have a prosperous childhood, I am really grateful for all that I have acquired from my growth”, Supervisor Or reflected. Reminiscing about his school life, Supervisor Or shared his perception on life, “The key to success is passion. If you are passionate about something, you will set a goal; you will also have the motivation and self-discipline to strive for it with the right means. On the contrary, if you don’t have passion, no matter how many methods are offered, you don’t have the motivation to achieve your goals.”
Supervisor Or admitted that YCK2 students are quite shy in front of him so he needs more time to know them better. However, he observed that students here are vibrant and lively. They are willing to learn. He encouraged students to set goals for themselves, and not to be frustrated by fear of failure.
“God creates man that is beautiful and kind. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. In the face of adversity, don’t be crushed, as what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” As a Chemistry enthusiast, Supervisor Or likes to illustrate his ideas with science. “Have you seen a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis? It is a very difficult process. Scientists once tried to speed up the process by dissecting the chrysalis. However, they discovered that butterflies that emerge without struggle often end up with defective wings. The experiment proves that the emergence process is essential for butterflies to develop their strong wings. Isn’t God’s creation amazing?” Supervisor Or’s story inspires us to face challenges positively, because they are inevitable for our development.
With an increasing number of non-Chinese students at YCK2, Supervisor Or reminded us that an internationalised campus should be a place where students of different ethnicities and races study together and experience various cultures in a harmonious environment. To maintain a harmonious environment, he highlighted the importance of love. Conflicts may arise with a lack of communication and understanding, but love is the key to all problems.
In his opinion, “language skills, problem-solving skills and critical thinking are the essential qualities for success. Though skills and knowledge are crucial, the motivation behind them is even more important. With good intentions and skills, our students can make contributions to society. Fortunately, YCK2 equips students with the five Catholic core values of life, truth, love, family, and justice.” He is confident that our students will use their talents wisely.
As a Catholic and an experienced educator, Supervisor Or reiterates the significance of putting God’s words into practice. “The first step students should take is to get a firm grip of knowledge, whether you are interested in the subject or not. Because this is your responsibility as a student. The next step is to implement the five Catholic core values in your daily lives, so that you can utilize your talents, achieve your goals, and live your life to the fullest under the guidance of God. Do your best, the future is yours!”, Supervisor Or concluded.
柯校監認為，在學生而言，語言能力(language skills)、解難能力(problem solving skill)和批判思維(critical thinking)，是未來立足社會必備的三個基本條件。「不過……」他舉起眼前的I-phone解釋道：「……能力和技巧只是工具，猶如這個手機。功效是否對人有益，往往在於用者的心態，所以天父教導的五大核心價值：生命、真理、關愛、家庭及公義，是更為深刻而重要的心靈裝備。」