28 April 2011

尋找他鄕的博士

因為做研究的關係,早兩天寫了個電郵給一位英國學者,請他向我介紹一些相關文獻--我的題目比較冷門,網上找到的資料不夠多;對方是該範疇的專家,可能見過一些我找不到的文獻。

對方很快便有回覆,告訴我一份英國的博士論文可能對我有用。我嘗試尋找,發覺沒有網上全文拷貝,只有在該英國大學的圖書館有藏書。

翌日求助於師傅,她說可以由她安排跨大學借閱,但論文由英國先寄去澳洲再寄來香港,頗花時間。她建議我不如嘗試直接聯絡作者,並在網上找到了作者的電郵地址,告訴了我。

今天中午,我寫了個電郵給這位博士,數小時後我排完戲,郵箱中已出現了他傳來的論文拷貝!

試想在未有互聯網的年代,以上各步驟共需多少時間才能完成?

莫說是那麼久之前,就是約十年前我在讀碩士班時,在香港找戲劇教育的文獻比起現在實在艱難百倍!當時雖已有互聯網,但網上的資料並不豐富,而且有全文拷貝的很少,也未有google scholar和google books等工具。

猶記得在英國最後一年上課,大家為了把握最後一年用圖書館的機會,拚命影印資料,三部影印機被我們三批同學分別霸佔,一批來自希臘,一批來自土耳其,一批來自香港--都是戲劇教育資源匱乏的地區。我們拚命地影呀影,英磅一個個的投進影印機,然後,在機場,行李超磅,又要額外付款!

那時候,花在影印、購買文獻上的金錢與時間投資確實不菲,比起我今天能不費分文、頃刻便得到那份論文,確實是時移世易了!

阿拔撞邪

昨日下午,阿拔忽然怪叫了幾下,聲調十分驚恐,然後躲在沙發後,良久都不出來,就像遇上他最害怕的颳風行雷時的表現一樣。

到了加糧的時候,他竟然仍然躲在沙發後,一反平日爭先搶食的常態,教我和老公都有點擔心。

幸好過了半天,他終於回復正常。期間他曾經從沙發後探頭,很擔心地望向窗外。

他到底看見什麼,令他那麼害怕呢?昨天風和日麗,沒颳風沒打雷;其時日光日白,應該也沒有可能是見鬼!

最後我們得出的結論是,阿拔可能見到UFO!

24 April 2011

War Phone 1

十一歲的姨甥曾對我有這樣的評價:「細貓阿姨講野好好笑!」

小朋友覺得成人說話好笑,無非是因為你肯和他們一起天馬行空地胡扯!

今天姨甥和我在往深圳拜山的車程上談天,他向我介紹他的近作:一份War Phone雜誌專輯。War Phone是他自己依照iphone的特性發明的儀器,作行軍用,有各式各樣的軍事apps,包括自動毀滅裝置。至於那雜誌專輯,是他自製的、用A4紙摺疊成的小本子,裡面詳細介紹了War Phone各項功能,由文字、圖片介紹至排版,由他自己一手包辦,製作十分認真。

好好笑的細貓阿姨習慣問孩子一些能啟發想像力的問題,便問:「那War Phone後的下一個產品是什麼?」殊不知這次得到的答案毫無想像力!「War Phone 2囉!」我們笑作一團。

然後我說:「那你這個即是War Phone 1 咯!中文名是不是『一窩峰』?」

大家再笑作一團。

這個阿姨講野真的幾好笑!

21 April 2011

iphone牌與感人媽

相信大家每天乘坐交通工具,總會遇上一些大大小小的有趣事情。我最近在地鐵上遇上兩樁。

iphone是什麼牌子的?

今天回家路上太睏不想看書,便拿出iphone寫作。當我在用手指寫著一個個中文字時,一個本來站在我前面的中年男士,坐到我身旁,問:「這部是什麼機來的?好像挺好用啊!」

「這是iphone」我回答。

「啊!是什麼牌子的?」

我登時楞了一下,心想,應該答是蘋果嗎?

然後我答:「呃……是iphone。」

對方好像沒發覺我的答案好奇怪,繼續好奇地問了許多問題,想知道這部機有什麼功能。我告訴他可以打電話、寫電郵、上網等,然後正在盤算著怎樣解釋app這個觀念時,發覺最吸引他的仍是那個輸入法。

「那你現在是在寫電郵還是什麼的?」

「不,我只是在記下自己想寫的東西。」

「這樣寫進去很好啊!容易很多。」

「嗯……是的……」

然後他再問了一些價錢呀,在哪裡買到呀等問題後,到站,禮貌地道謝過後,下了車,留下我獨自在想,為何我對 iphone的牌子是蘋果這個說法,覺得那麼古怪……


好感人啊,媽媽

早幾天本來在車廂中正在看書,漸漸被身旁一種絮絮不休的說話節奏打擾了,開始讀不進腦。我擱下書本,發覺聲音來自身旁一位母親,她正在向兩個年約十歲左右的孩子說一件事。

「……那個兒子的老婆不喜歡他的媽媽啦……兩個人都不喜歡對方啦……那個兒子娶了老婆不喜歡奶奶啦……兒子……她見到兒子什麼都沒有說……你明白嗎?即是她沒有數媳婦的不是啊……」

母親用非常蹩腳的說故事技巧說著這段婆媳關係,語調沉悶。我看看兩個孩子,目無表情地聽著母親說故事,直至母親最後終於說完了,也(仍然蹩腳地)道出了故事的教訓是兒子結婚後要好好對待母親。

我心裡想:「向這麼年幼的孩子說這個教訓,他們能明白嗎?即使明白,又有何意義?」我好奇地等待孩子的反應。

然後,男孩平淡地向母親說:「媽,你的眼鏡怎麼髒了一塊?」

接著,女孩目無表情地告訴母親:「好感人啊。」

我差點沒覺得自己正在看真人版的「麥兜聽麥太講故事」!

然後,麥太和麥兜到站,下車。

*          *           *

沒有什麼結論,純粹分享一下而已。

07 April 2011

The reflective practitioner keeps learning

about 12 years ago
... as a master student, I wrote an essay for my assignment out of an interest in how distancing, metaxis and spectatorship in theatre bring about change...

about 5 years ago
... as an applied theatre practitioner, I started a Theatre-in-Education (TIE) at Oxfam Hong Kong employing participatory forms to engage teenagers in reflecting upon issues about urban poverty...

a year or so ago
... as a lecturer of a master programme, I wrote a paper on this TIE work, developing ideas from the theories I discussed in the assignment I wrote for my master study...

recently
... the paper has been published in Applied Theatre Researcher (an on-line journal for free download), discussing notions of audience participation, aesthetic distance and change...

~~~

it's okay to make mistakes

I am indebted to Michael Balfour who encouraged me to write this article in the first place. We were co-teaching an applied theatre course in our master programme, and putting together a list of readings for the students. As we tried to incorporate applied theatre literature from as wide as possible a range of cultures and contexts, we found that it was hard to locate anything written about Hong Kong practice. Michael then suggested me to write one. I finally did; and Michael further encouraged me to try get it published somewhere. And I did.

John O'Toole, co-editor of ATR, said that he found the work "very honest". I told him that it was my deliberation to make explicit how we made mistakes in the TIE work. As the paper was written for my students in the first place, I was fully aware of how we have always reminded them to step out of their comfort zones and acknowledge it is okay to make mistakes as long as they learn something from the experience. So I thought it was a good idea to let them see, through the paper, that their teacher makes mistakes too, but learns a great deal by making rigorous reflections on her mistakes.


thanks for bringing me here

I am thankful to my students who have, through reading and discussing about the paper, reflected to me which parts of my writing have gaps and fall short of clarity.

I am also very thankful to the two reviewers of my article, who has given me usefully critical comments that give me excellent directions to go in its revision, considering questions I have not considered carefully enough.

And most of all, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity of having this years-long reflective journey with a wonderful project and a dedicated team of co-workers.


a journey in pursuit of meaningful learning

It is indeed a fascinating journey seeing how my interest in the topic has sustained all these years, and how my understanding of the theories has deepened all along and now become grounded in a real piece of practice.

And the inquisitive journey goes on – my current PhD study is yet another development from the TIE work and the notions of engagement and distancing, just that this time I am trying to look at it not from the audience's perspective but the TIE actors' – to see how they understand and manage their "multiple consciousness" (as teacher, actor and character) in participatory TIE work.

The reflective practitioner keeps learning… from the practical work of herself and others… and by maintaining dialogues with theoretical notions in the field.


P.S.
Those who are interested in the development of ATR and the term "applied theatre" may find the editorial in this volumn an informing reader.

03 April 2011

Black Olive Bread

My husband and I both love olives so when I found this recipe I immediately gave it a go. It turned out to be soooooooooo deliiiiiiicious!!!!!

Here is my modified recipe:



Ingredients (makes 2 large loaves)
3 cups bread flour (high gluten flour), sifted
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup black olives, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 ¼ cup warm water

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in half a cup of warm water. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, black olives and olive oil. Add the dissolved yeast and the remaining water to form a dough.

2. Turn out the dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). This is a very wet and sticky dough so you need to flour the kneading board and your hands from time to time. Set aside the dough, cover with a wet towel and let it rise for about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size.

3. Turn out the dough and knead well again on a floured board for about 5 minutes. Let it rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.

4. Divide the dough into two. Place each piece in a bowl lined with floured plastic wrap. Let it rise again until double in size.

5. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 220C.

6. Gently turn the loaves out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake the loaf at 220C for 15 minutes, until a hard crust forms. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.