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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

An Alumnus

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  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


  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.


  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.


  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


  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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