Teaching Chinese Calligraphy

Had the opportunity to teach for the first time a beginner’s Chinese calligraphy class at a secondary school on Wednesday. I was very anxious yet excited. The students seemed a bit too energetic to handle at times but the teacher said they were actually better behaved than during regular class. Finally met the teacher who invited me to teach. She’s my sister’s old friend. I asked if we had met before, she said she and my sister visited me once when I was attending boarding school in grade 1-2. Both me and my sister had no recollection of the event.

The overall teaching experience was very positive and I was very grateful for the opportunity to share my experience and love of the art I have been learning for more than 5 years. Shared the experience with my calligraphy class in our WhatsApp group, my teacher and classmates seemed happy and proud of me for becoming a teacher and starting to pass down the craft to the next generation. What made me even happier was that our 9x year-old ex-classmate finally responded in the group to commend my good work.

May God continue to bless the coming classes in this academic year, may both the students and I grow in interest and skill of the art.

Sketch… Sunday Service

Chinese Calligraphy

Spent a lot of time in the studio this past week to practice Chinese calligraphy. To wrap up my nearly 1.5 years of learning the clerical script, I went through all the weekly homework and wrote out all the 1000 different characters. Although there was much room for improvement, the full 1000 handwritten letters looked really impressive from afar. My calligraphy teacher was happy to see my hardworking effort and insisted on putting up the pieces on the classroom wall to take a full picture of all the characters. I asked if he would give me a passing grade, he said yes without hesitation, that was all I needed to be happy with my effort. I would be even happier if my 9x year-old classmate would praise my effort like he usually does in our WhatsApp group, but he remained silent. I’m just happy that he didn’t leave our group like last time.

My calligraphy teacher recommended a small calligraphy exhibition earlier and I invited a date to see it together. We had a late lunch before seeing the exhibition yesterday. Took a stroll through some of the shops and other exhibitions in the complex before wrapping our date with coffee in a nice cafe. We rode the MTR home and on the way she suddenly yelled, not too loudly but definitely got my attention. It turned out that we forgot to pay for our coffee before leaving the cafe. I find it super funny. It was my first time eating without paying (I did go back to pay the bill today), and it certainly made our 4th date very memorable!

Sketch… Sunday Service

(Unusually) Social Week

Met up with many friends this past week. Demoed the robot arm toy to my old friend’s dad and late uncle’s son over Monday dinner. Farewelled a high school classmate who will be moving to Canada over Tuesday lunch. Had lunch with a church brother on Wednesday to pass him some custom 3D prints he needed for a home improvement project. Thursday afternoon was my usual weekly gathering with my Chinese calligraphy class. Didn’t plan any social meetups for the rest of the week, but bumped into my brother’s friend at the cafe of my studio building on Saturday morning, so sat and had breakfast with him together.

Despite having zero community COVID case for many months, the government is planning to tighten the pandemic measures and require all restaurant customers to use a tracing app when entering and leaving restaurants. I will likely dine out a lot less if the tracing app becomes mandatory, this will be my way of protesting the increasing government surveillance of the people.

I’m thinking this past (unusually) social week may be God’s way of preparing me for the coming period of social isolation when the government tracing app becomes mandatory. It’ll be a good time to learn and practice my culinary arts and get back to doing more web work!

Sketch… Sunday Service

What To Do?

Spent a couple of days this past week to finish up a 3D-printed robot arm toy for my good friend’s dad. It can now be controlled by my iPad via Bluetooth, pretty cool! My uncle’s plan to lure me back into doing more engineering work seemed to have worked and I’m now a bit hooked to electronics and robotics once again!

Learning how to make the robot arm brought back fond memories of my undergraduate days as an EE student. Life was young and full of dreams of changing the world back then. 20+ years later here I’m writing this blog post questioning my future endeavors in this dying city, dying world.

Sorry to sound pessimistic, I think my marathon blues may have lingered for another week. But life seems to be picking up again. Through making and playing with the robot arm, a daily devotion of my favorite Ecclesiastes, and today’s sermon of a shepherd turned prophet speaking to a dying city, it seemed like God is telling me that He still has work for me to do in this dying city. What exactly is it that You want me to do O Lord?

Sketch… Sunday Service

Post-Marathon Blues?

After a very happy weekend highlighted by a marathon finish, I seemed to be experiencing a mild depression this past week.

After resting the entire Monday following the marathon, I started clearing up some errands I had pushed aside. Also slowly picking up work at the studio again. Tested a few materials with the laser cutter and experimented with Arduino. Made some good progress with the robot arm project for an uncle. He had been lavishly giving me electronic components and metal parts to play with as a way to lure me into doing more engineering work. His plan seemed to be working and I seemed to be picking up my interest in robotics once again.

Reviewing and bidding farewell to October 2021, I think I did ok amidst the depressing atmosphere of our city. Don’t think the dark suffocating veil covering the city will be lifted anytime soon. I just hope to stand firm under God’s mercy and grace and best live my coming days one day at a time. May God continue to bless me and my family 🙏🏻.

Sketch… Sunday Service