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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



  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.


  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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