Stories

I was one hour early …

It was cold that day. I could stop by a café and sip something hot but I decided to head to my doctor’s office instead.

When I walked in, I saw a very familiar face. The man had wrinkles and grey hair, but his eyes and smile were the same. After a few minutes of intense scrutiny, I couldn’t resist asking him if he were Mister G. the headmaster of my primary school and… there he was.

Mister G. was a true believer of public education. He spent 3 decades fighting for the ethics of public school and did a lot for youngsters, families of immigrants and workers. It was only when I left the Marais for the suburbs, that I realised how privileged we were. With his team, he gave us a real access to the French public education. He implemented adaptation classes for bigger kids who had just arrived in France but also adaptive courses for the quick learners and those who were getting bored. You could feel that you belonged to a place, that you were accepted.

My most memorable moment was the morning he decided to reject the offer of a children publishing house and tell us first why. There were piles of albums sent by a big company that were waiting in the corridors to be distributed. He was sitting in our class, very solemn, and we all knew that he had something important to say: “Kids, you are going to be disappointed but I am going to send all these albums back. And I am going to tell you why. I know that some of your parents don’t read French and don’t know what these things are. I don’t want to fool your families. I don’t want to make them believe that buying images and stickers to fill these albums is a compulsory expense. Simply because they were given by the school and school has this power.” – And this was for me, a life changing speech. Not only, he talked to us like reasonable and reasoning human beings, but he gave us also, a great demonstration of this quote by Plato: “The measure of a man is what he does with power”.

I was one hour early for my appointment that day, and life gave me this incredible opportunity to tell him how much he inspired me and how he shaped my education and my bond to education. I would probably not be the person I am today, if I hadn’t had him leading all these educators, at a very early stage of my life. That was something I wanted to tell him while he was still alive. – So, THANK YOU, Sir.

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Photography, Stories

饮水思源

yǐn shuǐ sī yuán
Trad. 

Fontana della Barcaccia. Roma, Italia. © Ruoxiang Chau, all rights reserved.

Fontana della Barcaccia. Roma, Italia. © Ruoxiang Chau, all rights reserved.


lit. when you drink water, think of its source
(idiom): gratitude for blessings and their well-spring
Don’t forget where your happiness come from. Be grateful for all your blessings!

(Source: chinese.yabla)


Thanks Dad, for teaching me this one!

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Stories

Thank you!!

I needed to make a pause, and thank all of you.

I started this blog in June 2013, expecting nothing but getting better organised in my notes. Much to my surprise, I was soon surrounded by a great community of thinkers, philosophers, writers, poets, artists and lovers of all kinds.

So, THANK YOU. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for your daily visits. Thank you for your silent reading and support. Thank you for your words. Thank you for exchanging ideas. And thank you for letting me discover your world. I am very grateful.

No matter what you do, I wish you to have fun and remember why you started first.

Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart!

周若翔
Ruoxiang Chau
روكسيان شاو

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Artworks, Photography, Stories

Rainy day on Calle de Alcalá

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Rainy day on Calle de Alcalá. © Ruoxiang Chau, all rights reserved.

There are certain things in life, you know they wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t with a little help from your friends or family. Rainy Day on Calle de Alcalá is one them.  This image wouldn’t exist if Carmen hadn’t invited me to visit her in her native Spain. A couple of emails exchanged and here I was, in the middle of the winter, sitting at a café on Calle de Alcalá, sipping a coffee brew instead of my regular oolong and contemplating the Madrilenian scene under the rain.

To Carmen: thank you for having me in Madrid and for making me feel at home. :)

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