Bulletin No. 1, 2019

A Master of All Weathers What are the joys and pains of being the Master of S.H. Ho College? No pains. But because College activities are always taking place, my schedule is less stable and there are times I have to deal with emergencies during the holidays. As for joys, I am happy for the chance to get to know undergraduates across different academic disciplines. I attend communal dinners at least twice a week, and also see students during evening activities. It is a drastically different experience from my time at the Graduate School, when I was mainly responsible for institutional planning and supervising graduate students. My wife used to take care of household matters, but now she also takes part in College activities and helps organize the 10 tea gatherings with students throughout the year. Young people long to be away from home, yet S.H. Ho makes ‘home’ its core value. Isn’t it counterintuitive? What we wish to bring out when we say ‘home’ is not paternalism, but a cosy, congenial environment where people respect and talk openly to each other like a family. We are trying to avoid top-down management. I hope my students will not see me as an aloof and distant master, but a friend they can chat with casually. Students are part of this family—they enjoy rights and are bound to shoulder group responsibilities. More so, I hope our College can be a haven in their learning journey. Here, they can find the spiritual support and replenishment they need. Can you name some landmark events? The students in our Medical Society once proposed to perform health checks for foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Though the costs were exorbitant, the campaign was tremendously meaningful. Our Runner Force, founded in 2012 and joined by 30 to 40 teachers and students, has members jog together and run in international competitions. The drills instil self- discipline, stamina and comradery among the runners. The College also offers full support for students to join international contests, a particularly memorable one being the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) International Peace Marathon in Korea. Any goals you want to achieve during your term of office? Heightening students’ curiosity and hence pushing them out of the cocoon of passive and sedentary learning. We also hope to cultivate students’ empathy and indomitable spirit in the face of hardships. Do you take cues from the relationship with your daughter while interacting with students? When my daughter was small, I read her a bedtime story every night. I am an introvert who warms up to people slowly. She can elicit my emotional side and we are like friends. I hope my students will not see me as an aloof and distant master, but a friend they can chat with casually. What is your favourite spot in this home on the hill? The Oasis. There were nights when I was partaking in students’ mini- concerts, where they leisurely sang and played instruments as they improvised along the way. Under the tender light, I rested on a bean bag, listening to the flowing melodies and gazing far into the light spots winking on the opposite shore of Ma On Shan. It was mesmerizing and relaxing. S. Lo The full article originally appeared in No. 539 of CUHK Newsletter . Scan to read: 29 A Master of All Weathers