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Orange Days

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image Keith Ip** MA in Religious Studies, School of Christian Studies, USJ

June is always an inscrutable month for most of the students who are graduating. In few weeks, graduates will be open to different possibilities. They are both exciting yet wondering about their unpredictable future, as if a melodious yearning adagio, moving slowly with rich ethos.
Sonny Liu, one of my close friends and mentors, has a modest tutor centre in which he is working to support students with extra tutorial classes. I have the opportunity to get in touch with high school students when I drop by occasionally. Three junior middle students have just finished their exam recently. While we were discussing the best thing to do during the summer vacation, they simply show no concern in doing any thing constructive to their future. What they care is nothing but amusements: things or pass time they can enjoy in the two short months. The phenomenon is very common for youngsters in Macau. I do not remember well how I ‘consumed’ my summer at Form Three. I believe it was a tranquil one spent together with my grandparents in Mainland China.
Form Six graduates today usually have their summer holidays commenced before June. Thanks to an early conclusion of endless admission tests and matriculation exams. To me, I still remember well the dizziness in memorizing facts and feats on history, geography, biology etc. It is not uncommon that revisions are very time consuming and are often conducted nocturnally. After emerging from a sea of books, notes and pass papers, I return to the real world with a certificate, a yawn and a slap on my face. Beyond that, there are always memories worth cherishing, but the perspirations and dull memorization have shaped my stereotype so concretely till this day!
I am happy for the graduates who shared their good news with me. Yet I am more commiserative to mollify those who “lost” in the matriculation exams. Their red eyes testified the desire to exchange marks for their hard work. However, it is a cruel reality that the goddess of luck never came upon them.
In a narrow sense, Orange Days is a romantic story written by Kitagawa Eriko (北川悦吏子). It has been conferred the 41st round of the Television Drama Academy Award (ドラマアカデミー賞) for its excellent plot, performance and authenticity of undergraduates’ life. University graduates’ life, as Kitagawa depicted, is full of memory and uncertainties. In one way, students are encountering the transition of being both a student and a social person. Conflicts among dreams, reality, family pressure, career, or defining the meaning of life are relentlessly overwhelming their mind. There are no guidelines in any reference book to teach them what to do. In one way or another, when students recollect and pull all their study life together, it will be like sitting in a canteen you are so familiar with, and taste the vine you fermented with your classmates and your own self. This is exactly the apex of enjoying one’s life.
Summer arrived silently. The sweet’n sour characteristics of an orange are exactly the reflections of graduates who bewilder, yet yearn for the future. They learn to treasure the past when putting all their life in school together. The spirit of pursuing one’s identity, true love, justice and truth must not be forsaken; even though many matures have bid farewell to that kind of life long ago.
Let’s cheer ourselves up and get ready once again for a new episode of life when the dawn breaks…

©MDTimes/ University of Saint Joseph

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