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Ang Lee:    Workbook page 6
my family values
The film director on moving out of his father's shadow and being determined to make life fun for his own children
My late father, Sheng Lee, was a traditional Chinese authority figure. He represented the traditional Chinese patriarchal society. I was always living in his shadow; that was my big thing.
I was shy and docile and never rebellious. But he taught me how to survive and how to be useful. He was a very pragmatic man, the headmaster of a high school - I don’t know if that was a good or a bad thing.
When I was growing up [as one of four children] he made me study all the time; studying was all that was important to him.
He was not much fun and he was kind of disappointed with me in some ways. Artistically, I was very repressed, i never really got to express myself and wasn't exposed to much art other than watching movies once a week.
My father wanted me to have a respectable profession.
Teaching was respectable to him. He said, 'Get a degree and teach in university.' When I wasn't working he would say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to set an example for your kids?' But I just wanted to make movies, so I never fulfilled the hopes he had for me. Even when I was successful, he would say, 'Now it's time to do something real.'
My mother, Se-Tsung, was very submissive with my father and obedient. I don't have many issues with her: she was a very good mother to me and my siblings. When I was growing up, women didn't matter as much. It was patriarchal, all about the father. Everyone tried to please my father.
As a kid I could not really concentrate on books or homework.
I did OK to poorly at school because I would fantasize all the time, having a lot of fun in my head because I didn't have a lot of fun. It took 35 years to release all that energy. I was repressed and then that repression was released when I became a filmmaker.
When I had my own family I was different because I didn't want to do that to my own kids, so I am fun. My wife [Jane Lin, a microbiologist] is the tiger mother in the home, the wise one in the family. I am like the third kid at home. She makes all the rules. We [our two sons, Mason, an actor, and Haan, an artist] obey. Before I got work as a director, my wife worked.
I was lucky, my wife provided for the family herself and never asked me to find a job. I was picking up the kids from school and doing the cooking and writing. Most of the time I didn't do anything - there was a lot of anxiety because I couldn't invest in anything apart from filmmaking.

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   Who wouldn’t jump at the chance of ‘working’ for six
months as the caretaker of an idyllic holiday island off the coast of Queensland, Australia? For Ben Southall, winner of the ‘Best Job in the World’ contest, the prospect seemed like a dream come true. The 34-year-old former charity worker, from Petersfield, UK, beat 34,000 other competitors for the job, which also came with a £2.5 million beachside mansion boasting magnificent ocean views.
Other perks in the contest included a £74,000 salary, a private pool, and a courtesy golf buggy.
   Alas, at the end of his posting, Mr Southall admitted that being a tourist ambassador for paradise was not all plain sailing. In fact, there was very little time for sailing at all - or sunbathing, or simply relaxing and enjoying those fine ocean views.
   Instead, he found himself working seven days a week, slave to a gruelling schedule of promotional events, press conferences, and administration.It has been very busy, busier than most
 people would have imagined, and certainly busier than I had imagined,’ Mr Southall told the press, adding that he had been ‘too busy’ to sit back and reflect on it all very much A snapshot of just how demanding the Best Job in the World could be is provided by Tourism Queensland’s official report on Mr Southall’s posting. It announced that he had visited 90 ‘exotic locations’, made 47 video diaries, and given more than 250 media interviews.
   True, somewhere along the line he did also learn to sail, play golf, and kayak. But even those activities were limited by the need to keep a running web commentary about what he was up to. He posted more than 75,000 words in 60 separate blogs - the equivalent of a small novel - uploaded more than 2,000 photos, and ‘tweeted more than 730 times,’ according to Peter Lawlor, Queensland’s Tourism Minister.
    Indeed, in the view of his online audience, he spent so much time blogging about having a good time that he didn’t really have much of a time at all.
   Either way, Mr Southall admits that he is now tired out - and in need of a holiday. ‘It was a job that needed 18 to 19 hours’ work every day,’ he said. ‘Not just the interviews and the social side of it, but also blogging and uploading pictures - it’s very time consuming.’ Nevertheless, in what is perhaps the ultimate proof of his new skills as a PR man, he still insists he enjoyed himself thoroughly. And his demanding taskmasters at Tourism Queensland are also pleased, so much so that they have offered him a new 18-month, six-figure contract to promote their state worldwide.
In his spare time, if he gets any, he will also start on a book about his experiences over the last six months. Whether it will prove a best-selling beachside read is another matter.
    Many parents would probably agree that work and family life are not always easy to balance. Not so the 37 million US employees who take part each year in the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. On this day, the fourth Thursday in April, parents in over 3.5 million companies take their children into work to give them a taste of just what it is their parents get up to all day. 
  Each year, a theme is chosen for the event, and a new logo is designed for the T-shirts worn by participants.Today, it is now regarded as a kind of national institution.
The scheme has not always catered for both boys and girls. It was originally conceived in 1993 by the non-profit organization Ms. Foundation for Women as the Take Our Daughters to Work Day. In the early 1990s, research had revealed that schoolgirls were often
 lacking the confidence they needed to succeed too often, this led to them dropping out of school early. It was hoped
that the event would show them the importance of finishing their education and what they could achieve if they did so. By 2003, it had become apparent that boys were suffering a similar lack of self-esteem, and so they were also incorporated into the scheme, which changed its name accordingly.
The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day takes place on a school day, because it is a valuable educational experience. In class the next day, pupils are expected to share news from their day at
 the office with their classmates.This gives them the chance to learn from each others’ experiences, and also to reflect more profoundly on their own. Older students taking part
 in the scheme, aimed primarily at eight- to 18-year-olds, can get a good idea of the attitude and behaviour common to the workplace, which helps prepare them for any part-time jobs they might do in the future.
Parents are encouraged to enhance their child's experience by preparing carefully for the day beforehand. The organizers recommend discussing the day before and after the child is brought to work so that they get as much as possible out of their visit. According to employees who have already taken part in the programme, children should be introduced to their parent's
 colleagues to get an insight into how the team works. After that, they should spend the rest of the day shadowing their mother or father in all that they do. In
some cases, companies plan special activities, which make the day more interactive and memorable for the children, and give parents a chance to catch up on any urgent work alone.
It is not only the children of employees that the scheme is aimed at, hence its name: Take Our Daughters and Sons to
Work. The idea is that all daughters and sons should be able to participate. This means that workers may invite the children of
 friends, relatives, neighbours, or even children from residential homes to accompany them. The main aim is to expose as many schoolchildren as possible to the world of work in the hope that it will give them a goal in life to work towards and help them land their dream job.