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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

An Alumnus

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - MORNING


  4. Peter is dressing up.


  5. PETER (V.O.): I'm going HKU Library to return some borrowed books and pick up a book I've held.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I meant to do it on New Year Eve, but the library closed early for the occasion.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If I can act fast, I wouldn't wait.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Once time is passed, we can never get it back.


  12. Peter goes out with a big-box briefcase.

  13. Act 2


  14. EXT. STREETS - LATER


  15. Pulling the briefcase, Peter is in thoughts.


  16. PETER (V.O.): Having graduated from HKU Law School in 1985, I bought a carry-on big-box briefcase.


  17. Recalling.


  18. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, briefcases and even baggage didn't have wheels and couldn't be pulled.


  19. Pausing.


  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was hard to carry them. But I was young then.


  21. Peter takes a look of the briefcase behind him.


  22. PETER (V.O.): I bought this one in 2004 when I had to settle international disputes in Geneva.


  23. Recalling.

  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It once contained documents concerning two disputes: US v the European Communities, and Australia v European Communities.


  25. Pausing.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was probably the first Hong Kong lawyer to have such an opportunity.


  27. Pausing.


  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I felt proud that I could contribute something to international jurisprudence.


  29. Recalling.


  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): One day In the High Court Library, I bumped into the Panel's decisions.


  31. Pausing.


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Judging from the brand new pages, I believe no one has ever read them.


  33. EXT. HKU CAMPUS - AFTERNOON


  34. Walking past the Knowles Building, Peter takes a photo of it.


  35. PETER (V.O.): It has touched and concerned me. One day in 1981, I went up to the 4/F Law School Registry to my student registration.


  36. Recalling.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And law lectures and tutorials took place inside.


  38. Recalling.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I didn't spend much time in the Law Library as a vacant desk was always hard to find.


  40. As Peter enters the Main Library, a RECEPTIONIST become attentive.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): She must be surprised to see a white-haired man coming here.


  42. Having seen Peter tapping a card against a reader and the gate opens, the receptionist becomes inattentive again.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Before I began working in retirement, I'd came here to read and borrow screenwriting books.


  44. Inside a room near the lending service counter, Peter finds the book held for him.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is the first time I've held a book. I want to try anything I haven't tried while I still can.


  46. Peter continues to observe the library environment.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What a privilege for users now!


  48. Getting to a pleasure-reading section, Peter tries to find something.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, the screenwriting book Save the Cat was checked out. I don't mind re-reading it again.


  50. INT. MTR CABIN - LATER


  51. A WOMAN doesn't wait to offer Peter her seat.


  52. PETER: Thank you.


  53. PETER (V.O.): Being comfortable with discomfort is hard to adapt.

  54. Act 3


  55. INT. STUDY - NIGHT


  56. Smartphone in hand, Peter checks something.


  57. PETER (V.O.): Am I an alumni or alumnus of HKU?


  58. Reading.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Alumni refers to more than one alumnus. But alumni is used so widely that a lot of people confuse them.


  60. Reflecting.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I feel fulfilled that my wife and my son are also HKU's Law School alumni.


  62. THE END.


  63. FADE OUT

















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