Lifestyle

生死時速之Lost in England

筆者最近參加了叫Lost一個活動,驚嚇程度之高,於今猶有餘悸。話說這個活動是為倫敦露宿者之家籌款的,活動由倫敦市中心出發,由一架被黑布擋住玻璃的巴士,載我們到一個不知名、離倫敦四十多里的郊區小鎮,然後我們要不費一分一毫,在途人的幫助下限時返回倫敦(或截順風車、或找途人幫忙買火車/巴士/地鐵票)。

2013-10-26 05.18.41 2013-10-26 09.13.37 2013-10-26 09.24.22

聽來就夠刺激了,好戲卻在後頭。我和另一名隊友被丟下在一個名為Forest Row的小鎮後,就開始嘗試截順風車、找途人幫忙,最後一個好心的老太太幫我們付了巴士錢,去到鄰近的East Grinstead,繼續旅程。事情開始不太順利,不夠運,一直截不到順風車,途人也不肯幫我們買巴士票,在市內滯留了三個多小時。當時已經有一點想放棄的感覺,但先吃個午飯吧,再作打算。吃完飯後,幸運之神回來了,終於截到一架順風車,去到離倫敦只有十多里的Red Hill。

好了,事情so far so good對嗎?先別心急,好戲在後頭。成功截過一次後我們信心爆棚,於是重施故技,再截順風車。大概等了一個小時,終於有一架黑色的車停下來,揮手叫我們上車。我們心想得米啦,應該可以直接回倫敦了。豈料天有不測風雲,上車大概兩分鐘,我們就知中伏了。那個穿皮褸,身型健碩、打扮頗rock的光頭司機,開始胡說八道,先說自己來英國是要打劫銀行,搶走所有錢,又大數英國的不是,說這裡有太多人,應該把他們殺清光。我們心知不妙,知道他應該精神有問題,很有可能是神經病的,但怕刺激到他,當然不斷點頭稱是。他越說越興奮,竟然越噏越離奇,說世界其實由一少撮外星人,甚麼奇怪粒子元素所操控,人類其實都不知道真相,只有他最清楚,給我們上車是要有機會令「更多人醒覺」等等。

這也未算最恐怖,他去到後期,興奮到一個地步幾乎忘了自己是在駕車,開始玩電話,開一些奇怪外星人短片我們看,雙手很多時都離開軚盤,別忘記我們當時是在高速公路上面的,一個唔該大吉利是,就炒粉一鑊熟了。我當時已經沒有興趣聽他說甚麼,只是緊緊握住車門扶手,身體盡向後靠,心想有甚麼事都起碼減少撞擊。我當時真的有一刻想自己是會死的,一生人也沒有跟死亡感覺上這麼靠近過。最後我寫到這篇稿當然平安無事(真是上帝保祐),但真是一生人中最長最長的車程。

最後他履行承諾在Heathrow Airport放下我們,還要很友善的跟我們微笑揮手say goodbye,心中真是打了個突。平安抵步,我們真是癲的,竟然又想截順風車回市中心,但由於交通大繁忙沒有人肯停車,就到附近的地鐵站,找了個好心路人替我們買票回市中心了。

活動雖然刺激好玩,截順風車的體驗也是畢生難得,但現在想起還心慌慌。下次再玩類似的,都要三思後行了。

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GLOBAL DIGNITY DAY 2013

上個星期三去了位於倫敦北部的High Gate School替Global Dignity Day做義工,跟一班中學生分享尊嚴、人權等概念。活動是由一個名叫Just for Kids Law的組織舉辦的工作坊,主題圍繞 “dignity” 的概念。工作坊雖然為時短短三個小時,但透過一些辯論、問答、分享、遊戲等,大家都對於何謂尊嚴、怎樣才能有尊嚴等問題,作出了深刻的反思。

外國學生活躍互動、愛問問題,敢於挑戰權威,勇於創新,這些是老生常談,不必多說,工作坊期間他們提出了兩個很有意思的問題。第一個是在我們討論何謂尊嚴的時候,工作紙上其中一個選項是 “…fighting for what you believe in at all costs”,班上大多數人都選了這句最能代表尊嚴的概念,但其中一個女孩子表示反對。她對 “at all costs” 這三個字提出質疑,舉例說當日希特拉領導納粹德國屠殺猶太人,侵略他國,都是不計代價去做自己相信是對的事,難道這又值得鼓勵嗎?全班沉默了一會兒,最後他們決定再次討論這道命題,得出結論:不能為了自己的尊嚴踐踏他人的尊嚴,人與人之間的尊嚴是互相連繫、依賴的,因此這個句子要作出更正。期間我們兩個負責帶領討論的義工沒有介入他們的辯論,任由他們自由發揮.

接著我們再做下一份工作紙,要同學就幾個選項排序,討論哪一個行為最能彰顯尊嚴,其中比較熱門的包括反對性別、種族歧視的公民抗命/示威,也有人選幫助別人。很多人都選擇了反對性別和種族歧視,然後其中一名男生表示反對。他指出雖然反對性別和種族歧視有意義,但某程度上爭取者所爭取的是自己的權益,有利己的因素,相反幫助別人就比較利他,更有尊嚴性。接著又有人提出,那麼男人為女性爭取權益又怎樣說呢?幫助人會令自己心理上好過,又算不算利己呢?當然這樣的辯論最終沒有共識,也沒有答案,到底爭取的東西是有利於自己會否損害它的正當性,可否以這樣的標準來訂定尊嚴性,老實說是頗形而上的問題。

不過沒有結論也不重要,關鍵的是在過程中他們顯示出兩樣東方尤其華人社會教育最缺乏的特質-批判思維和人權的基礎教育。東方和西方的教育方針完全是兩碼子的事:我們的教育從小到大,基本立論第一是對權威的服從,包括校長、老師、父母、校規的聽命,雖然未至於極權式的絕對服從,但灌輸的價值觀基本上就是如此,第二是對「正確答案」的服從,大家想想由中學小學到大學,學生對model answer、marking scheme的趨之若騖,原因跟我們的考試模式息息相關。相比起外國鼓勵批判思維、獨立思考、創新和挑戰所謂權威。還有人權、自由、民主等作為基礎教育的一部份,他們在中小學時期已經開始接觸這些概念,所以自小已經扎根成為核心價值之一,我們(起碼筆者的一代)真是在大學在正式接受這些概念的教育的,還要因為我的學術背景才有這樣的機會。

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

後記

身為法律學生,一直都想做一些pro bono work(即與法律有關的義務工作),但在香港機會不多,而且礙於俗務纏身,一路都沒有做到。直至來到UCL,聽了Law Society一個關於pro bono的講座,發覺這邊比起香港對pro bono重視得多,而且可以參與的機會也較多。Global Dignity Day是其中之一,當時想雖然不是跟法律有直接關係,但見跟人權議題有關,而且頗有意義,所以就報名參加了,事實證明,我這個決定正確。未來一年,我希望有機會參與大量的pro bono work,體驗更多。

General tips on choosing ECA’s

As schools are looking more and more for all-rounded development in students,  the Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) of students become more and more important. Many schools even require students to learn at least one type of sports, musical instrument, or  language.

While at first sight it may seem troublesome or difficult to maintain your grades while being good at ECAs, in fact being involved in ECAs may often help your grades instead of hurt it – you just need to approach it wisely.

So here are our most general points for you when you choose your ECAs:

  1. Interest is king
    You must choose something you are genuinely interested in! If you really enjoy your ECA, it can serve as a break/ rest from your studies and help your studies. But if your ECAs are just another chore, then it can negatively affect your school work.
  2. Try more things when young, concentrate later on
    The trick to find something you are really interested in is to just try a lot of things. Don’t limit yourself to a few categories (trying jazz, ballet and waltz is not good – try something diverse like soccer, ballet and fencing instead). But as you get older, you should drop the ones you are not most interested in and focus on your favorite ones. Being good beats being board in this case.
  3. Work hard to join/start school clubs and teams
    ECA’s are much more fun when done with friends! Or you can even meet many new friends through your ECA’s. Moreover, school clubs and teams often give you free training and provide you with opportunities to compete. Don’t be discouraged if your school team above your standard – you will only achieve your best when you interact with people better than you!

There is really a reason why schools try to encourage people to take up more ECA’s. They can really inspire you as a person and provide you with much fun and challenge along the way. So just being proactive and try new things, and you just might find the perfect ECA for yourself.

As schools are looking more and more for all-rounded development in students, the Extra-curricular activities (ECAs) of students become more and more important. Many schools even require students to learn one type of sports, musical instrument, or even language.

While at first sight it may seem troublesome or difficult to maintain your grades while being good at ECAs, in fact being involved in ECAs may often help your grades instead of hurt it – you just need to approach it wisely.

So here are our most general points for you when you choose your ECA:

  1. Interest is king
    You must choose something you are genuinely interested in! If you really enjoy your ECA, it can serve as a break/ rest from your studies and help your studies. But if your ECAs are just another chore, then it can negatively affect your school work.

  2. Try more things when young, concentrate on a few when old
    The trick to find something you are really interested in is to just try a lot of things. Don’t limit yourself to a few categories (trying jazz, ballet and waltz is not good – try something diverse like soccer, ballet and fencing instead). But as you get older, you should drop the ones you are not most interested in and focus on your favorite ones. Being good beats being board in this case.

  3. Work hard to join/start school clubs and teams
    ECA’s are much more fun when done with friends! Or you can even meet many new friends through your ECA’s. Moreover, school clubs and teams often give you free training and provide you with competition opportunities. Don’t be discouraged if your school team above your standard – you will only achieve your best when you interact with people better than you!

There is really a reason why schools try to encourage people to take up more ECA’s. They can really inspire you as a person and provide you with much fun and challenge along the way. So just being proactive and try new things, and you just might find the perfect ECA for yourself.