Lorraine Siu

 

 

An Unexpected Gift

When I was 10, my family received an unexpected gift. In panic and distress, a new member joined my family - my little brother Louis.

 

Louis was diagnosed with microtia at birth. My parents were in an overwrought state for half a year, taking care of my fragile brother and making sure that his health condition was stable. At that time, I wanted to contribute to the family too. As a fourth grader, I sat in front of the computer and carried out overnight research on microtia, looking for possible treatments. I also visited my mom in the hospital frequently, hoping to comfort her and cheer her up. I wished to lessen their burden by causing less trouble to them. When I was little, I relied heavily on my parents – I needed them to help me with my revision, to supervise me to go to bed early. I used to be a typical “Kong Kid”. I realized that the best way for me to help my family was to become independent. No more tantrums; no more childishness. I was determined to study hard and to manage my time wisely on extra-curricular activities and academic pursuits. So really, this unexpected gift trained me to be self-disciplined and independent, which helped me a lot in later years.

 

Finding My Goal

I have travelled to a lot of places since I was small. I believe that it is crucial to broaden our horizons and to learn from different people around the world. Last summer, I travelled to Columbia University in New York and participated in an interesting Genetics Summer Programme that helped me find my goal. I was fascinated by how genes could make every single person distinctive. After this course, I determined that I would like to pursue my future studies in Biomedical Engineering. I am most interested in gene therapy, which can alter a genome and reduce the symptoms of a variety of diseases or even cure untreatable diseases such as cancer.

 

I am fortunate to take part in a science programme to work on stem cell research this year with a professor from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and to explore more in related fields. As far as I know, research on gene therapy and stem cell therapy are still in a primary stage of development. I hope I can employ my knowledge and contribute to society with this new means of technology. I believe that biotechnology can help a lot of patients in the future.

 

My Passion

St Mary’s has always been renowned for its traditional annual drama production. I am the Music Director for my school’s annual drama production this year. I compose songs for the musical play. Besides composing, the most challenging part is to teach the cast members to sing my song. There are depressing times when they cannot sing with the right feeling and techniques, even after much practice; there are also rewarding times when they sing each note perfectly and with confidence. From designing part rehearsals to identifying mistakes in full rehearsals, I have gained leadership skills and have learned how to teach different casts in distinctive ways, as everyone has a unique voice.

 

In the production, I have also learned to communicate with different parties with patience. I arrange meetings and set tasks for the composers to write incidental music in my team. I also need to contact the music arranger to transform composed songs to professional recordings.

 

Being a Music Director has transformed me from a little performer, which I have been since primary school, to a passionate composer; and this experience has unleashed my leadership potential and allowed me to use my communication skills to contribute to the school.