In Chinese, we have a phase “薪火相傳”, which literally means “to pass the flame”. And actually the phase has a deeper meaning, which is “to pass the knowledge and good traditions to the next generation”.
I am a very lucky person. I have met many good teachers in my life. Some of them not only passed on their knowledge, but had also influenced the way I see the world, and helped me to become the person I am today. But, when Simon of metageologist asked us who is our most important teacher, I know immediately who is the most important teacher of mine.
Of all the good teachers I have had, Prof. LS Chan at the HKU is the most important. Prof Chan is my abecedarian, the teacher who introduced me to the grande of geology. He who took me to the first geological field trip I ever had, showed me how to read a geological map, use a compass, bang on an outcrop… This is, of course, not THE reason why he is special.
Prof Chan is truely supportive to his students. I could not easily explain how supportive he was when I was doing my Master under his supervision and he is still doing so to me. He once told me a short conversation he had with his own professor when he just finished his PhD (some 30 years? ago). He asked his professor, “Professor, you have done so much for me, … How am I gonna repay you?”, and Professor replied, “If you wanna repay me, all you need to do is to do exactly what I have done to you to your own students in the future.”
I know these are not the exact wordings. But this is what “薪火相傳” means.
This post is the Accretionary Wedge #44, hosted by Simon Wellings. And this is not exactly a post about geology.