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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Two-Degree Separation/Connection

  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - 08:15


  4. PETER is reading newspapers.


  5. PETER (V.O.): A former regional secretary for the NT Administration (NTA) has died. Hayes was 92.


  6. Reading.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He worked for the colonial govt for 32 years, he retired in 1988.


  8. Reading.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He got his academic degrees while he was a civil servant.


  10. We see Peter reading something by Hayes: Chapters, Afterthought, Postscripts...


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Very serious in his works on NT history and anthropology.


  12. Recalling.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I heard of his name. But I didn't work under him.


  14. Act 2


  15. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  16. MONTAGE OF PETER'S NTA WORK EXPERIENCE (1976-1980)


  17. A. Having parked his metalic blue Ford Capri by the roadside, Peter (22-26), carrying an umbrella, patrols districts in Yuen Long, NT.


  18. B. Leading a TEAM of labourers, Peter directs the demolition of illegal structures with or without police escort.


  19. C. Having surveyed structures, Peter instructs a LABOURER to write down the dimensions on the walls in red paint.


  20. D. Peter drives to HKU to attend housing management courses and takes a car ferry on the way home.


  21. END MONTAGE


  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As I was patrolling alone, I carried an umbrella to protect myself eg deterring fierce dogs.


  23. Pausing.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I hated demolishing squatter huts. And anything could happen on demolition day.


  25. Pausing.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I envy senior officers staying in air-conditioned offices. An Assistant District Officer (Administrative Officer rank) headed my division.


  27. Pausing.


  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When govt granted amnesty to existing illegal structures ie those with dimensions in red paints, it was a great relief to me.


  29. Pausing.


  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I enjoyed attending the part-time day-release courses at HKU from 1977 - 1980.


  31. Pausing.


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): With peace of mind, I prepared well for my Philosophy degree exams in 1981 as a London U external student.


  33. Recalling.


  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I joined govt in 1974 at the age of 20. I had worked as a part-time waiter for five years and a full-time teacher for almost one year.


  35. Pausing.


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then I got a HK govt scholarship to read my LLB and PCLL at HKU.


  37. Pausing.


  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then I got a UK govt scholarship to read my second LLM at UCL.


  39. Wondering.


  40. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): How did Hayes get his degrees?


  41. INT. STUDY, PETER'S NT HOME - 17:00


  42. Surrounded by papers, Peter picks some to read.


  43. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I've written a lot on IP too. But I didn't have any spare time to write and publish anything personal until after retirement.


  44. Calculating.


  45. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Hayes had a retirement life of 35 years, three years more than his govt service.

  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I worked for govt for 40 years. If my retirement life could be longer than that, I'd have to live beyond 100!


  48. Pausing.


  49. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): What's my connection with Hayes after all?


  50. Peter surfs the web with his smart phone.


  51. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Oh, he's a honorary fellow of HKUST 2008! I'm a HKUST Council Member.


  52. Act 3


  53. INT. STUDY - 23:00


  54. Peter is reading research results on his phone screen.


  55. PETER (V.O.): The six degrees of separation/connection theory suggests that any two individuals can be connected via a chain of six other people.


  56. Reading.


  57. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Studies have indicated that the average number of intermediaries is between four to seven.


  58. Pausing.


  59. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I believe social media and smart networking have lowered the number. This instance is a two-degree of separation/connection.

  60. FADE OUT


  61. THE END
















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