Student - 24 november 2010

Life is about learning 'COMMON SENSE'

On Monday night, as usual, I went to Mr. S's to cook dinner for Mr. and Mrs. S. I made four dishes, one of them was braised beef with potatoes. I spoiled that dish...Bummer...

I'm a perfectionist in everything except exams. Because when you always have another perfectionist as your teacher, you should be a bit kind to yourself. Sorry, I digress...Get down to the business. The key to make perfect Chinese dishes lies in the preparation of ingredients before wok-cooking. I spoiled that dish due to my failure in beef-chopping. Isn't it a piece of cake? Just do the cutting against the grain of the meat. But I just failed. It was not as easy as I imagined. After all, it was a piece of beef, not cake.

To learn chopping is always the first step to become a great cook. Don't skip this stage otherwise you will fail like me. However, I'm not here to give you a lesson on cooking. What I wanna talk about is common sense. Yes, COMMON SENSE.

Three weeks ago, I was hired by an American for a translation job. Three days later, unfortunately, I was fired because I asked him a stupid question. His reason was direct and simple, 'Derek, you are really frustrating me. Your questions reveal a lack of knowledge of many very basic everyday things.' Curious about what I asked? My question was what the meaning of 're' in 'a video log re auditions' is.

How many of you can understand that 're' means 'related to' for short in a formal document? If you can't, it means you are not better than me in COMMON SENSE.

What is common senseļ¼Ÿ How will you define it? I'm afraid it would be one of the trickiest questions in your life. To be honest, that sack was a blow to me. I was confused and frustrated with it until Mr. S told me a story. 'I didn't know how to eat bananas. I had to learn it.' Don't laugh at it too early, please let him finish his words first, 'I grew up in the difficult period of World War II. I didn't see bananas before. It took time for me to accept it, to appreciate it.' OMG, have you ever thought of it? To eat bananas turns out to be a non-easy job for a successful businessman. Just as I always took for granted that cooking was a piece of cake and housewife was the easiest profession on this planet. Now I have to pay my greatest honor to my mother. Mom, I didn't know how great you are till that beef gave me a lesson. Mum, you are my hero!

Thanks to that piece of beef, thanks to Mr. S, also thanks to that American, I've learned to be more humble. Don't take anything for granted. Life is about learning 'COMMON SENSE'. Now, let's restart our life journey by a video of beef-chopping by Martin Yan. ^_^

N.B.: Who's Mr. S actually? More will be told next week.

Martin Yan teaches you how to cut and tenderize beef: