Writer’s Craft - 04
08 April 2015
Ms. Annette Ci Hoi Wong ; I sat down with this self opinionated and positive personality on the 1st of April. I interviewed her at Madeline Cafe, Sunway University, Subang. It was productive. My goal was to acquire an inside scoop of her opinions on music. Her preferences and her comparisons of music today vs. music in the past generations. Ms. Annette, a lecturer from Sunway University’s Canadian International Matriculation Program, hails from Toronto, Canada. Her mother, from Hong Kong and her father who is also chinese but grew up in India moved to Toronto, Canada where they decided to raise a family.
The lecturer has taught in many various countries, from the desert heat of Egypt to the snowy storms of the Arctic. Teaching is her passion, but it came suddenly. She was quite hesitant to enter the education department but fell in love with it over time. “I got into teaching because it was something that I could do, but I had remote interest in and it would get my parents off my back,” the young lecturer stated. She originally was into environmental studies but did not receive the blessings from her parents. “But I really enjoy teaching now, especially since I get to use this field of work to travel and teach abroad, I enjoy it,” she clarified.
Enough with the introduction, I take classes with Ms. Annette and since the first day I arrived, she would play walk-in music and walk-out music, that intrigued me to find out more about her relationship with the music she plays around her.
“If I had to choose two of my favourite bands, it would have to be Real Big Fish and Rage Against The Machines (RATM), no scratch that, Tragically Hip. Tragically Hip is this full on Canadian band with the typical guitarist, bassist, singer and drummer. Their genre of music would probably be called indie nowadays. It just reminded me of Canadian summer nights under the stars, nostalgic. 10 years ago I would have stuck with Rage(RATM) but now that I’m older, my music choice has mellowed down,” She said all that with a great connection to her memories and I knew I chose the right topic to ask her about. “My music choice however, is greatly influenced by my parents and crushes, on sundays my dad would iron clothes while listening to Bob Marley. I also would listen to whatever music my crush would listen to.” She said light-heartedly. Speaking of light heartedness, “music these days probably have a lighter message because the wars have lessened and the countries are much safer. Although, we are not done fighting, it’s a lot easier than the days of the Vietnam wars. Music is strongly influenced by societal issues,” Ms. Annette said.
I asked if she ever considered a singing career. She laughed, paused, then laughed again. “A career in karaoke maybe! But I do play an instrument, just one. Have you heard of the zhang? It’s a chinese plucking instrument where you have to wear fake nails to play. I played it in university, I was part of the chinese orchestra. I doubt I can still remember though,” after acknowledging her answer, I asked another question, “two of your favourite artists?” She said “easy, first, it has to be Biggie Smalls, Notorious B.I.G. I mean he has influenced pop culture so much until today, there are shirts with his imprinted face on them, you know the one with the tilted crown? And he left us at such a young age, to leave a legacy as great as this? He truly is one of the greatest artist in my eyes. He did it with conscious meaningful lyrics. Stressing gangs and poverty. Second artist has to be Taylor Swift,” “Wait what? No, the two are on opposite ends. Your favourite two artists are Biggie and Taylor Swift? A hustler turned rapper from the bronx and hopeless romantic country pop star icon? That’s too big of a difference!” I interrupted “say what you like, I love Taylor Swift’s ‘haters gonna hate’ mentality and she has a sense of originality about her.” She confidently argued.
At the end of the interview, I asked “Ms. Annette, you don’t have to answer this question if you feel uncomfortable ; what do your piercings symbolize? Any reason you for each of them?” She laughed at the question and said “nahh, it was just something my friend and I used to do when we skipped class,” “Sorry I don’t have a personal answer if that’s what you were looking for!”
Ms. Annette, looks forward to continue teaching and maybe work in the education department in a museum, but right now, she is enjoying every moment here in Sunway and her infectious personality and positive attitude will definitely bring her even greater success in her future.