In 2018, the Science Interview (organized by the Faculty of Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) was held on 7 and 8 May in a new venue. My panel interviewed around 40 outstanding students.
This year, there was another new element; 12 pieces of Classic Chinese Literature were listed as the required reading in the DSE core subject of Chinese Language. As I believe the study of classic Chinese literature is more than just learning Chinese language, there should be something more than improving the proficiency of Chinese Language.
During the general discussion part of the interview, I took the opportunity to discuss with the students about their views on such a change. To my surprise, their responses were mostly positive: many thought that the passages made their preparation for the examination easier; yet, many revealed that they were thankful. Among the 12 pieces, ‘逍遙遊’, ‘岳陽樓記’, and ‘論仁、論孝、論君子’ were mostly mentioned; many students believed that they learnt how to cope with, and potentially to appreciate, the adversities in life from the passages. Moreover, they also learnt some traditional Chinese virtues and moral standards. In addition, the students also appreciated pieces like ‘勸學’, ‘出師表’, ‘師說’, ‘月下獨酌 (其一) ‘, and ‘青玉案 元夕’.
Their positive responses to the classic Chinese Literature were a bit out of my expectation; I learnt from the students that the passages could teach them how to manage stress and to deal with the difficulties, which were inevitable in life. The literature was also a medium to inherit the traditional Chinese virtues from generations to generations in our society.