My English Journals

Following the correct way of writing papers will save a lot of trouble


Fri. 21th Dec., 1990. 17℃. Fine.

I have just read the book, Read and Write, by our college head, Dr Shum. It ia a very useful book for university students.

Dr Shum is an expert on paper writing (論文寫作). He explicates (詳細說明) from the writing process (寫作步驟) to the functions (功能) of the academic paper (學術論文) in every details, especially emphasizing (強調) on footnotes (註腳) and bibliographies (書目).

I regret (遺憾) that I have not read this book before writing my term paper. It caused me a lot of trouble because I left out one important process while I was working.

There should be a process after material collecting called "working bibliography" (寫作上用到的書目), in which a small card is used to record the author and the publishing details of each book, and the grade of that given according to the value of the materials (資料的重要性) it contains.

If I had read this book at the begriming of the term, I didn't have to search the libraries again for publishing details (出版商的細節) when correcting my paper.


Books, books, and books have nearly made me crazy

Wed. 12nd Dec., 1990. 19. Cloudy.

----------If the nineteenth of December comes,
----------the final examinations will be over.
----------I shall have got rid of all my pressure
----------like having taken off a woolen gown
----------in summer.

----------Then I will be easy and free
----------to enjoy three weeks holidays.
--------- Christmas mood and New Year's joy
----------will surely send me
----------into ecstasies (狂歡).....

----------But now,
----------I am facing 5 examinations.
----------Books, books, and books
----------have nearly made me crazy!

It's not late to lock the sheepfold

Thurs. 13rd Dec., 1990. 18. Fine.

I have just read an article which tells us how to take in lecturers successfully. Although too late for this term, it is of utmost (極之) value in the future.

The article says that preparation (預備) before attending (出席) lectures is so important that it can prevent (防止) us from losing out something when listening.

The author urges (敦促) us to take ten minutes from television time to prepare for each lecture, or at least to have a glance (看一眼) of its outline (大綱) beforehand (之前).

We are advised to go with the lecturer (與講師同行) instead of (代替) just following him (只跟著他行) or pulled by him (或者被他拉著走), and don't jot down (記下) all but the useful notes (只是有用的東西).

If I had read it at the beginning of the term and followed the suggested way, I would probably get grade A for all subjects.

Never mind! It's not late to lock (鎖好) the sheepfold (有欄干圍著的牧羊場) door after the sheep were stolen (被偷了).


Complaints when the exam was over

Fri. 14th Dec., 1990. 18. Sunny.

"Oh! Do I have a wrong question papers or am I sitting in a wrong examination room?" I said this in my heart after I had a glance at the General Education Exam. papers this morning.

The lecturer told us that we would have multiple choices in our exam. because of the large number of students, but there would be one or two short essay questions for us to show our talents (才華).

But then the question papers turned out to be fill-in-the-blanks and one long as well as five short essay questions!

Realizing that it was the plight (困境) that I had to face after a short hesitation (猶豫), I started to move my pen.

The hall was full of grumbles (埋怨) and complaints when the examination was over.

How smart you are and how stupid I am

Sat. 15th Dec., 1990. 18. Fine.

Answering questions in examinations requires techniques.

I dare not expect to have a high grade in my General Chinese (大學中文) Examination held this afternoon.

There were four long passages followed by questions in the comprehension (閱讀理解) section. It was not easy to finish it within one hour; but a classmate sitting next to me had put down his pen when I was reading the fourth passage. I had to chose the answers of that part arbitrarily (任意地) for not having enough time.

I asked the classmate why he could finish that section so quickly, and his answer was: "I read the questions first and then searched for answers while I was going - over the passages."

I suddenly understood it and couldn't help crying: "How smart you are and how stupid I am!"

A spring will loose its elasticity if it is excessively pulled

Sun. 16th Dec., 1990. 18. Fine.

My brain has become blunt (鈍的) after two examinations in the pass two days, and I have to face another three in the following days.

How great the pressure is!

In the past few days, I fixed myself (專注) on music history. Although I don't know every details of it, I am quite confident in this subject, for I heard somebody said that there would be several questions for us to choose. We have to answer one only in the past years.

From now on, I will focus on the other two subjects. Modern Chinese Literature is a heavy subject and I still have a few short stories and several poems to study.

Before going on reading, I should have a little rest as my brain has been working without stop since the beginning of this month. I know it well that a spring (彈簧) will- loose its elasticity (彈性) if it is excessively (過份地) pulled (拉扯).

Thank Heaven if I could get good results

Mon. 17th Dec., 1990. 19. Sunny.

It was the climax (考試的高潮) of my final examinations today.

After an overnight good sleep, I was so confident that I went to CU this morning with a bright and ready-to-fight mood.

It was Modern Chinese Literature I had to combat (對付) in the early morning. We were asked to answer five questions out of six. I think I should have passed it.

Music History was the next tough battle I had to face in the afternoon. This is my core subject. I must get a good result in it, otherwise (否則) I shall have to take it again next year. I had in my mind a quick review of the whole Medieval Period before entering the examination room.

I was quite exhausted (腦汁幾乎用盡了) after three hours of listening to music of the Medieval Period, score analyzing (樂譜分析), and answering essay questions.

Thank Heaven if I could get grade B or A- for it!


I think I will pass owing to the good attendance

Tues. 18th Dec., 1990. 17. Sunny.

I am sorry that I couldn't do well in the examination of Introduction to Literature (文學概論) this morning.

Only one morning's time I could use to review (溫習) the whole term's lessons of this subject because Music History and Modern Chinese Literature had occupied nearly all of my time.

Fortunately the lecturer of this course, whom I like, taught in quite a good way. He always put the topic on the right hand side of the blackboard before he started talking. It was easy for me to recall what had been dealt with (涉及) in his lectures.

But the bad thing was that my brain has become too blunt to think any more after I finished painstakingly (痛苦地) answering the second question. The third one, the last one, was answered very briefly.

I am afraid that I may fail in this subject. If I don't, it would, I think, be the average mark owing to the high grade of my paper (論文) and good attendance (勤出席).


A letter to Dr Law

Wed. 19th Dec., 1990. 18. Fine.

Dear Dr Law,

I am sorry for being late handing in my corrected paper (修改後的論文).

Typing is really a hard work to me. I picked up word by word slowly and had a - lot of cutting () and sticking () because of the inadequacy (不足) of the typewriter (打字機). So please forgive me for making you such an ugly looking paper.

I was not quite interested in the music of the Medieval Period (中世紀), but what you said in the first lecture aroused (引起) my interest: "this is the root of the western music". Though I can't get a good examination result in your course owing to the limited time and heavy work, I have found your lectures inspiring (激勵的) and I'll review the whole period with the help of your notes.

Thank you very much. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you as well as your family.

Yours sincerely,
Clever, S.Y. Cheung.

No lectures and paper writing, I can enjoy the long holidays

Thurs. 20th Dec., 1990. 18. Cloudy.

Final examinations were all over.

Corrected paper (修改了的論文) has been handed in.

What a great relief it is! There is nearly a month's holidays before the start of the next term; it's really wonderful!

Now what shall I do?

I must have a swim in the warm pool to relieve the tension (壓力) accumulated (累積) in the examination weeks.

And then I shall have a few days' easiness (休閒).

It is so great to roam the streets freely and to have window-shopping during Christmas time.

To have tea and listen to the Christmas songs in a hotel coffee shop will surely give me a joyful mood.

With that happy heart, I will enjoy D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers in the holidays.


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