Ka-fu Wong's Journal

I am writing this journal to share my views with my friends and students. I write about anything that I see and feel. Although this is not a blog, your comments are welcome. Comments, if any, should be directed to kafuwong@econ.hku.hk.

 

2018-12-11

This quality is more important than grades.

It was the evening before the final exam. I received an email from a student who apologized wholeheartedly.
//
.... due to the lack of background knowledge of economics and my mid term grade, I don't think it is possible for me to pass this course.
I am extremely sorry for late notice but I was wondering if it is possible for me not to attend the final exam.
//

I replied to him with a citation of the exam regulation of the university, the procedure an absentee should follow if he had acceptable reason for his absence (essentially, only medical reasons are acceptable). I recommended to him:
//
My suggestion is to overcome your anxiety, come to the exam and try your best. If you have seen similar situations in your past, you may want to visit student counselling service for consultation when you are done with exams this semester.
//

Late in the night, I got his reply.
//
Thank you for your kind suggestion. I really appreciate your understanding.
Fortunately, this is my 1st year and 1st semester in the University. I take this course as an elective to see if I can double major BBA in my second year.
However, without any background knowledge, I realised this course is quiet demanding.
I think passing this course is unlikely yet I learned many lessons from this challenge.
Not only economics broadened my point of view but also taught me a lesson that I have to be well prepared before doing something. I think I should focus on my original major. :)
If I am prepared for getting zero for my exam, is it okay for me not to attend the exam?
Once again, I apologise for my irresponsible action and once more thank you so much for your understanding toward student.
//

As a teacher, it is always sad (and disappointing) to hear that a student had difficulty in learning the subject I teach (and a subject that I love). But, to be honest, this email exchange made my day.

The student seemed to know what he was doing and was prepared to bear the consequence of his mistakes/decisions. That is a quality I wish all students would possess. This quality is more important than grades. I like him!


2018-11-15

Unreliability of average SETL scores due to the high non-response rate

2018-11-15

Late dropping

2018-11-13

Let go!

2018-10-24

No, please do not use my lecture time for your society's announcement.

2018-09-26

Scheduling an appointment

2018-09-25

Would you want to hire a DISHONEST and IRRESPONSIBLE person?

2018-08-27

None of my business

2018-08-24

Be prudent. Start with FIVE.

2018-08-21

Course evaluation bounds and response rate

2018-08-09

Be a responsible job applicant

2018-02-10

No calories browsing....

2018-01-24

Would "uncertain" help your postgraduate study application? I would say, CERTAINLY NOT!

2018-01-01

Focus on learning, I like exams!

2017-09-14

When helping your friend is NOT HELPING YOUR FRIEND!

2017-09-13

My life as a student -- AGAIN

2017-09-05

You like easy grade, easy honor, easy graduation?

2017-07-18

My Facebook friends, please protect me just as I protect you.

2017-07-12

An internship

2016-03-01

You know me. But, do I know you?

2015-12-17

Why learning fails to happen despite the great design of the course and the great teacher?

2015-12-11

Would you please accept my late submission?

2015-10-20

Can I trust you, my friend?

2015-10-17

If we have the second chance to "retake", failing or getting a low grade would not be so stressful.

2015-09-18

My first-hand experience on why learning is not taking place in lectures!

2015-08-20

Are you sure Econometrics is useless?

2015-06-15

What kind of food do you like?

2015-05-04

Eating 100 bowls of rice in a day

2015-01-31

You say you love me. How can I tell whether you truly love me?

2014-11-19

Thank you for inviting me to play Candy Crush Soda Saga.

2014-10-24

I would be happy to write recommendations letter for your PhD or Master application if ....

2014-10-23

Master of Finance at MIT

2014-10-06

Are you sure what you saw was black?

2014-09-15

Speaking out for the quiet attentive majority

2014-03-05

GOLDEN opportunity -- only to the hard-working students.

2014-03-01

What to do when your teacher's teaching style does not fit your learning style?

2013-11-28

A negative experience? Not completely. It can be made into a positive one!

2013-11-27

Many thanks for your appreciation of my teaching (II)

2013-11-22

Many thanks for your appreciation of my teaching (I)

2013-09-30

The question is not totally useless

2013-07-23

My next stop is Barcelona!

2013-06-01

Her decision to pursue Master of Finance after her undergradaute study at HKU

2013-02-05

Keep me posted of your progress, please!

2012-11-16

Pardon me! None of us want to have final exams through January 5!

2012-11-10

What should I do at HKU (activities versus study and many other things)?

2012-09-12

No! Please do not come to my class to promote your club activities.

2012-09-09

I am terribly sorry to tell you that I have to renege on your offer.

2012-02-21

Free coffee coupon! Anyone?

2011-10-28

Who are you?

2011-10-13

Summer intership opportunity at Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research

2011-09-18

Thank you so much for your criticism!

2011-09-12

Coach, can you teach me to swim?

2010-12-16

How do I locate a research topic?

2010-10-14

Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon

2010-10-05

What will my future be?

2010-10-04

A major in Economics and Finance is not enough to guarantee your future.

2010-09-30

Students, please help us become better teachers!

2010-09-21

No one should be surprised that she has been doing so well!

2010-03-02

Revelance of GPA in job applications

2010-02-18

How government policy with good intention can create frustration and political instability?

2010-02-11

IS ASSOCIATED WITH is not the same as CAUSES .....

2009-12-02

Can you match my feat of unconsciously raising one eyebrow but lower the other?

2009-12-01

Cherish our beloved ones who are still around us -- when we still can!

2009-11-27

Trust your teachers, but don't trust them blindly!

2009-11-26

You can give me a low score but please write some comments to help me improve my teaching.

2009-11-25

Three monks

2009-08-26

The similarity in health care service provision and fire fighting service provision

2009-08-26

Road congestion pricing

2009-08-08

Summer School at Korea University?

2009-07-31

Scientists apply cost and benefit analysis

2009-07-31

Dynamic pricing coming near you

2009-07-05

I envy the colorful lives of professors. I would like to become one.

2009-03-23

Be brave. Visit your teachers. Ask them questions. Your teachers are a lot nicer than you think.

2009-03-19

I know approximately zero percent about this world!

2009-03-14

How can you verify this is me -- Dr. Ka-fu Wong of HKU School of Economics and Finance?

2009-03-09

I dream to work in the business sector. Should I pursue a master degree before I join the private sector?

2009-02-19

Any economist can predict this... Can you?

2009-02-16

Coupon clippers wanted!

2009-02-13

Sir, can you give me a fish?

2009-01-09

The impact of SiChuan earthquake on China's economic growth -- a sketch

2008-12-21

Help me.... please.

2008-12-20

Learning should not end with the final exam!

2008-11-27

Which semester in my second year do you suggest to go exchage according to our curriculum?

2008-11-19

Exchange in Europe can be very rewarding!

2008-11-18

UC Berkeley is my top choice for exchange!

2008-11-03

The ripple effect of a fall in demand in final goods and services.

2008-11-02

Why did we not have fresh mushrooms twenty years ago?

2008-10-20

Seeing financial tsunami, should we abandon capitalism?

2008-10-18

Should the financial tsunami scare us?

2008-10-13

I did it! The Raleigh Challenge!

2008-09-18

Where can I find some evidence to support the short essay I am writing?

2008-08-26

I am in year 1. How to prepare myself for PhD study in top US universities (say, Harvard and Stanford)?

2008-08-23

Why do business-school applications pick up as the economy slows?

2008-07-08

Measuring Honesty

2008-05-14

A subsidy to encourage firms to adopt energy efficient appliances reduces CO2 emission?

2008-02-23

Dialogue is preferred to monologue.

2008-02-16

Solid Waste Management in Hong Kong

2008-02-13

If I were a single unemployed old man who lives on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA)

2008-01-10

A list of readings for amateur economists

2008-01-10

Puzzle: If fortune-telling were totally useless, why would it last for centuries just like the traditional Chinese medicine?

2007-12-17

Is forecasting a pure guessing game?

2007-12-16

I want zero emission of CO2!

2007-11-30

How would I choose universities for exchange?

2007-11-28

Excuse me. Can you write a recommendation letter for me?

2007-11-27

No student invited me to the photo-taking sessions!

2007-11-12

No pain, no gain!

2007-11-09

Education in China

2007-10-23

Do I know my students?

2007-10-06

Observation of rules

2007-09-29

Quiet please!

2007-09-14

Teaching is to be enjoyed, and so is studying. Grades should only be secondary.