I’ve heard of true loves that lasted forever, I guess there is a way.

Let’s Try It Again, New Kids on the Block

I’ve never studied abroad — although there was a time I wished to further my postgraduate studies in the United States. That wish never materialized as I discovered it just wasn’t worth it to spend my parents’ several million HK dollars on knowledge that I could acquire for free now on massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by prestigious American universities; the only difference is I couldn’t earn credentials by completing the courses. 

People always ask me, “How come your English is so good?” My standard answer is, “I learnt it through watching TV.” 

This statement was halfly true, for the second half of the answer is that New Kids on The Block taught me English. I used to be a crazed fan of them during my teenagehood, reading interviews and feature articles about them every week and listening to their songs on cassette tapes every night before sleep (it wasn’t the advent of the digital age yet). That’s how I picked up my California accent. 

Even now, I realize my ten-year-old daughter’s vocabulary bank is richer than mine for she watches videos on YouTube and Tik Tok that I take little interest in — for better or worse. Like her idea of “loot” comes from Minecraft, but my idea of “loot” comes from Nadine Gordimer, the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991. 

Well, like what my beloved daughter always says, “too bad”. 

Extended reading: 

Gordimer, N. (2003). Loot and Other Stories. Jonathan Cape. 

Lohr, S. (May 26, 2020). Remember the MOOCs? After Near-death, they’re booming. 

The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/technology/moocs-online- learning.html