Angela Tan

’Once upon a time’ is how stories normally start in children’s storybooks, but not so much now in modern literature. However, I think the maxim still applies as whenever we write stories, we’re in essence capturing a moment or looking back on a time passed.

“Throughout my time as a student journalist at Curtin Malaysia, I have written a lot of different types of stories – from feature stories to community news and hard news, you name it. In the course of all that writing, I have come across people with very compelling stories to tell, such as their personal struggles to get to where they are now, or ideas or feelings that they have suppressed because they involved things people generally don’t talk about.

“I remember an assignment I had to do which required me to write a piece on James Lau, music director at the Symphony Academy of Music which I attended in the past. He is a wonderful musician and an exceptional teacher, but has a strange habit that always had me curious. He would always lean way forward, his nose almost touching the scores resting on the piano, whenever he played a piece. I discovered during my interview with him that he actually has an acute case of shortsightedness. It amazed me how persistent he is in playing and teaching music despite this condition. His story inspired me to polish my piano skills even more. I told myself that if he could be a skillful musician even with his condition, I as one with normal vision could certainly be one too.

“As a student journalist, I have discovered how stories can impact people’s lives; and in this case, mine. I think everyone should have a chance to tell their stories, not only for the sake of self-expression, but also to broaden people’s perspectives on different things. It is only through listening, reading and getting a thorough understanding that we are able to learn and truly understand the struggles of people and how they overcame them.” Angela Tan, Mass Communication student

Oct 30th, 2021

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