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1 June 2019

1 June 2019
Not too long ago, we had a few sessions of group interviews for the English subject.  Some applicants were not happy with such an arrangement because they thought that (1) they are exposed to other applicants who might be their current colleagues, (2) they feel that they need more time to elaborate points they have prepared; discussing with strangers means the interaction might stray off from what they have prepared.  Noted; but for me, teaching is teamwork, so the ability to sit together and demonstrate skills to present points, alongside good manners, without overshadowing others is also important. We read the vitas and the application letters already, so the selected few are given a chance to discuss real-life issues in school as if they were already on a job.
That same evening, one applicant reported honestly on an online discussion board on what had happened in the group discussion, disclosing the question, the school name, his own name, and grieving the large number of applicants he saw on campus. The passage was direct, truthful, and objective; but it was the respondents to it began to distort the writer’s intention. The next day, I received several calls from other principals confirming if such a case happened.  They understand young people are very verbal and expressive, and most of the time honest and truthful, but they do not understand the need that the writer disclosing his own name into the public abyss, and school name, which in turn might jeopardize his chance in any future applications. Think of it this way, there is nothing wrong when you hold a cleaver in the kitchen, but if you hold it as an accessory in the street publicly succumb to strangers’ judgment, it is quite another matter.  These principals think that the writer expressed his feeling to a wrong crowd.  Now they are glad that they learn the writer’s name, and understand how he handles minor complications in life.
Along the same line, our upright young people are eager to seek justice, but they do not do much to protect themselves. A roadside petition requesting your full name and identity card number, or an online petition giving others an opportunity to locate where or who you are, both mean that you are willing to be responsible for the scrutiny of the community, and forthcoming opportunities, both positive and negative in two years’, five years’, and ten years’ time. 
Be just, but do not bring harm and inconvenience to yourselves now and in the future.  Oliver Goldsmith’s comedy She Stoops to Conquer (1773) tells a win-win story, rather than an upper-handed overpowering landslide success which leaves other parties stranded. Sometimes, it is the final goal reached that matters.
Anson Yang