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The Power of Words

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (January 26, 2013)

‘Useless. Passive. Slow.’ These were the words that were used to describe me by my First Grade teacher. You can imagine how crushed my mum was and how hopeless I felt.

When I was in First Grade, I had a teacher who really celebrated children who were outspoken, aggressive and quick with their words and actions. At that age, I was none of those things. I was the quiet, shy girl who would only speak when asked to (which wasn’t a bad thing according to Chinese culture) and was more of a deep thinker, rather than a quick thinker (I would ask mum about the complexities of relationships and marriage at age 4, rather than be the first to answer a question in class). Unfortunately, my First Grade teacher wasn’t able to see how I was different and had possible strengths.