IT’S BEEN A YEAR...... 一年了……

 

IT’S BEEN A YEAR...... 一年了……

I went to the CUHK Barber Shop for my hair cut two weeks ago. The barber remarked, “Your hair is getting thick, is your stress reduced now?” Being caught in a sudden I didn’t know how to answer his question. After pondering for a few seconds I responded, “Of course not.” He continued his question, “So that means you are used to it?” I queried myself about the phrase “used to.” Am I really used to it?

兩週前,到中大理髮店剪髮。師傅跟我說:「你的頭髮沒有那麼稀薄了,壓力減少些吧?」我竟然不懂回答這個問題,呆了數秒才有反應:「才不是呢。」他接著說:「那就是習慣了吧……」「慣了?」我內心在問:「真的習慣了嗎?」

I still remembered the same barber asked me a similar question more than a year ago, “Your hair is getting thin. Are you feeling very stressful recently?” I said, “Yes.” It was the beginning of 2014 when the selection of new School Director was in progress. I realized the “stress” that the barber had mentioned was actually about this—am I really suitable for the position? Why didn’t I firmly reject the recommendation of my colleagues last year? Frankly speaking, I was not worried about whether I could pass the selection, but I was puzzled of what to do if I would really be appointed? I would rather the Theological Council rejected me, so my burden could be relieved.

記得在一年多前剪髮時,同一位師傅問我:「你的頭髮稀薄了很多,最近壓力很大嗎?」「是的」我說。當時正是2014年初,新院長遴選工作正在進行。理髮師傅指的「壓力」正是此事──我真的合適嗎?為何我不堅決拒絕同工的推薦?坦白說,當時不是為能否通過遴選而憂心,反倒為一旦通過任命,那怎麼辦好?我寧願不獲神學校董會通過,這樣便可放下心頭大石。

It recalled my memory of the selection process. On the 18th of December in 2013, I attended the public forum at the Chapel of the Divinity School, for the first time as a candidate of the new School Director. I then took up the interview by the Theological Council on the 4th of April in 2014. On the 22nd of April an appointment letter from the Vice-Chancellor of the University was sent to me. My three-year term of service hence got started from the 1st of August. There was a drastic change to my life thereafter. A student sent me a text message at the beginning of this month to comfort me after my “suffering” for a year. The word “suffering” is absolutely true to me. Time flies. The first year of my term has eventually been accomplished. I still remembered I had shared with my students the feeling of working as a School Director right after the end of the first semester in 2014/15 academic year. If a year is regarded as two semesters, my three-year term of service consists of totally six. So I regarded my term as having six courses of “chemotherapy treatment.” I told my student I was grateful of completing the first treatment...

回想2013年12月18日,首次以新院長候選人身份在神學院聖堂接受公開諮詢,到2014年4月4日,接受神學校董會成員的面試,4月22日,正式收到中大校長信函,委任我為崇基學院神學院院長,自8月1日起,任期三年。自始,生命起了重大的變化。本年8月初,有同學發信息給我,說是給我「受難」一週年的安慰……此話誠然。轉眼間,三年任期的第一年完成了。我記得在2014至15學年的上學期結束時,曾跟同學分享渡過第一個學期院長生涯的感受:如果將一年視作兩個學期,三年任期包括六個學期。我比喻為接受六期的化療的療程,終於完成了第一次化療……

I am now taking the hope that my new life would begin after the six courses of “chemotherapy treatment,” so I keep on counting down when currently one sixth of the treatment course has already been done then it will soon come to one third. I know some friends who had taken chemotherapy treatment. They told me they had to encounter and adapt to all the side effects. The meaning of “adapt” is indeed pushing one to accept or tolerate it, and to learn how to survive simultaneously. If what they described is the case, I would say it is an adaption and I believe the motivation to adapt is “hope” which gives people strength and courage to overcome their hardship.

現在,由六分一至三分一,倒數下去,心存盼望,完成六次療程後,便能重展新生。認識一些真的曾接受化療的朋友,他們要面對及適應各種副作用,所謂適應,其實是勉強去接受或忍受,並學習如何與副作用共存。如果是這樣的話,我只能說:適應。而讓他們能夠有勇氣去面對的,就是:盼望。

Certainly, I would like to give thanks to all the companions and colleagues who have been helping me throughout this year. Firstly, I am thankful of our teaching staff. Our School practices share governance with its faculty. Many duties are indeed borne by different teachers but the change of leadership implied that their workloads are also increasing. Besides, my heartfelt thanks are given to the office administrative staff. They execute their duties and projects on the existing track, which keeps every task in a good order. Thank you my Lord, for giving the Divinity School these obedient servants. If I did not make any great mistake, it was only because of their coexistence and help. I am grateful of having the trust of Theological Council members, the support from denominations and churches as well as the encouragement from all students and alumni. More importantly I would like to thank Rev. Prof. Lo Lung-kwong, the retired School Director, who is willing to stay here as an Adjunct Professor for two years. Time flies—one year has gone. The new team has to confront the change, learn to take up the tasks and seek for renovation. I am truly thankful of the solid foundation laid down by Rev. Lo for the sake of our School.

當然,在此要感謝許多幫助我渡過這一年的戰友與同工。一方面是教師團隊,本院一直奉行教師治校,許多事情,實際上是由各老師分掌,而領導模式的改變,也意味著他們工作量的增加。另方面是辦公室同工,她(他)們在既有軌道上執行工作,讓一切得以循規蹈矩。感謝上主,賜予崇基這些忠心的僕人,如果我在這一年沒有犯上任何重大錯誤,完全是因為他(她)們的同在與協助。感謝神學校董的信任、各宗派及教會的支持、同學與校友的鼓勵。當然,還有前任院長盧龍光牧師,願意以客席教授身份留任兩年。轉眼間,一年便過去了。新的團隊要面對轉變,學習接手,尋索更新,感謝他為本院奠下的良好基礎。

Many friends asked me about how I felt after being the School Director for a year. I usually replied I still need to learn as I have not yet adapted. During the following two years, we need to deliberate what to do and how to cope with the current changes, and take up future challenges for better development in the long run. Facing up to the radical change in the Hong Kong society and church, as well as in CUHK, we need to prepare well at the moment in order to meet the future challenges. To be honest, the burden of personnel, administration and finance is not light, which is actually the source of my stress. May Lord grant us wisdom and provide us with whatever we need.

許多友人曾問我上任一年的感受,我說:仍要學習,尚待適應。雖然已有良好的同工團隊,但仍要思考如何為現在的轉變與未來的挑戰把脈斷症,為更長遠的發展探索變革的可能,並為迎向這些挑戰,在當下作好預備。坦白說,各種人事、行政、財政的擔子委實不輕,確是壓力所在。求主賜我們團隊智慧,並供應我們的欠缺。

I tried my best to keep doing research and writings in the past year. Participating and presenting my paper into seven academic conferences were absolutely out of my expectation (All these outputs were not brand new researches but only based on my previous research works). I sincerely thank Jesus Christ our Lord for that. I won’t say I can get a balance between administration, teaching and research because it is ridiculous and impossible when there are so many tension and responsibilities. There is no doubt for making one’s choice due to the constraint of limited time. Therefore, my other jobs accumulated whenever I was working hard on my research; vice versa, I had to put down my writing work while I was performing my duty as School Director. I have scheduled some tasks to be handled in the first year but they were temporarily held because of some unexpected incidents. Besides, my teaching workload was adjusted to a greater extent last year as I taught three courses jointly with another teacher while there were actually four courses offered under my name. Still, I was in a bigger debt to my family... This was how I accomplished my first term which was full of tension. I was looking back and forth and considering one but neglecting the other.

過去一年間,仍勉力維持研究寫作:出席了七個學術研討會並發表論文,這完全是我想像不到的(當然,這都談不上是全新的研究,都是建基於以往的基礎上完成,俗語是「食老本」),也由衷獻上感恩的。我不會說我能夠平衡行政、教學與研究,因為在各種張力與責任之間,所謂的「平衡」完全是自欺欺人的虛言。在有限的時間之下,難免有所取捨。每次在趕論文的時候,其他工作就會堆積起來。在履行院長職務時,又要繼續厚顏地面對稿債的債主。有些原來期望在第一年處理的事務,又因某些突發的事情而暫時擱下來。剛過去的學年,教學量作了較大調整,開了四科,其中三科是跟人合教的。更大的虧欠,當然是對家庭……就是這樣,顧此失彼,瞻前顧後,在各種拉扯與張力之中,完成了第一年的工作。

In July and August, I tried to write down and consolidate all the “debts” in a list. This article was also one of the unfinished tasks. So I could delete it after submitting this article. When I look back the long list, I could only be thankful. The new academic year will commence very soon and tons of work is coming to me. I know I can only rely upon the Lord’s grace and follow Him to creep forward.

剛剛這個七、八月,將要清理的欠債列下,也包括這篇文章……完成一項,刪去一項,現在回看這張滿目瘡痍的清單,只能感恩。轉眼又是新學年的開始,又有排山倒海的工作,只能仰賴主恩,匍匐前行。

Eleven years ago, I still remembered it was on the 15th of August when I moved to the staff quarter of Chung Chi College with my family and a new chapter in my life began. As years go by, I am getting into the middle age of fifty. I think of a Confucius quote, “At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven” (The Analects, Book II: Wei Chang). I clearly know the path of my ministry and I promise the Lord to dedicate three years to the Divinity School. Meanwhile, I think of another quote of Confucius which is “There are three things which the jun zi (Gentleman) guards against,” and “when he is young. . .he should guard against lust; when he is strong. . . he should guard against strife; when he is old. . . he should guard against covetousness” (The Analects, Book XVI: Ji Shi). As a scholar, receiving the Lord’s mercy and grace, I am not worthy of the position I held. I only yearn for the expiration of my term of service, so I can be myself and go back to my original work, which are all I want.

回想十一年前的8月15日,舉家遷入崇基校園,揭開人生新章,轉眼人生便過半百,人到中年,想起孔子嘗言:「五十而知天命」(《論語 ・為政第二》),我確切知道自己的事奉路向,並承諾上主奉獻三年的時間。又想起孔子另一番「君子有三戒」的教導:少時戒色;壯時戒鬥;老時戒得(《論語・季氏第十六》)。我本書生,蒙上主厚愛,不欲涉足江湖。只盼日子屆滿,回歸本我,重操故業,如願已足。

According to the University’s guidelines, I can apply for a sabbatical leave two years later while my three-year term of service will also expire at that time. I pray for the mercy of the Lord and may He prepare the way for me. This is my sincere prayer, Amen!

兩年後,按大學規定能申請享用安息年假。屆時剛好完成三年任期,求主憐憫。求主預備。這是我真誠的禱告。阿們。

Ying Fuk-tsang
邢福增

19th August, 2015
2015年8月19日

(Translated by Caly Fung, proofread by Helen Ng)