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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Meaning of numbers (24): from bad to good

My experience with numbers has given me lots of mood swings and emotional fluctuations, since I always get hyped up whenever I see good/bad numerical patterns, some of which give me chills to the bone. We are all familiar of the ominous nature of the number thirteen 13, which in the Western Christian tradition is widely regarded as a bad number (number of attendants at Christ’s last supper etc). We hence derive various myths surrounding Friday the 13th, which happened just two days ago (Friday 13th December 2019). It was also the day on which I was supposed to deliver a presentation at a conference at the University of Cork, Ireland. As you can imagine, I got somewhat nervous on this occasion, more so that I normally would, but as I was combatting my fears by trying to stay calm and doing more preparation than usual, I was delighted to discover that I had been allocated room number 108 at the Cork Airport hotel, which, as explained before, is a hugely propitious number in our Chinese culture. Furthermore, as I walked down the corridor in search of my room, I discovered lots of motivational quotes on the wall which gave me tremendous courage:

The presentation went fine, as I managed to calm my nerves and deliver it as clearly as I could. I also had a very constructive discussion with the audience, some leading scholars in my field, which greatly illuminated my understanding of my topic. As always, in face of adversity, one should learn to rise to the challenge rather than flinch and retreat. Rather than let fear get the better of us, let it get the best of us. I must therefore thank the Cork Airport hotel for giving me a nice room down a nice corridor. Not bad a way to tackle Friday the 13th.

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