It’s never too late. 


The scene is familiar. You wake up one morning and the page of the calendar turns. 

Yet again.

Imperceptibly, you’ve crept one day closer towards that test, that exam. 

Maybe time passed and you didn’t realize it. 

Maybe it wasn’t all that important to you. 

Maybe the only reason that you realized that time had passed was because somebody from up above was nagging you, day after day, telling you… 

“Wake up!”, they say.

“You need to study! Don’t you care about your future? What will you do if you rank number 5 again, but from the bottom of the class?”

It’s not a great feeling, is it? 

You stare at the calendar from where you are, and then you look at the books that you have to read, then you stare at the calendar again.

Before long, you sigh, you sit down, and you begin scrolling TikTok.

I know that feeling all too well.

The sense that time is running out.

The feeling that a large, unstoppable force is coming to you.

The feeling that no matter what, you must run away – all too familiar, yet so common to each one of us, a feeling that we should almost always rather avoid, by human nature or instinct.

The teacher, the parent, the educational consultant would tell you, if only you had planned, you would have averted this situation:

The ocean, they would say, is something that cannot be boiled.

The task is something that must be broken down into meaningful and manageable chunks.

Yet at the end of the day, human beings are human beings, subjected to human constraints, inclinations, and also patterns of thought.

It is almost inevitable that somewhere along the way, our foot may slip.

The divine plan that we thought we would execute, we sway away from, forgetting what we intended to do, we find ourselves running away as our hands move from the book to the phone, from English into videos of restaurant workers dancing.

And before we know it, there we are, in the thrall of sweet escape.

I want you to confront that feeling of hopelessness and remember, for a quick moment, that the time has not run out.

You may have that oppressive feeling as if a sword of Damocles hangs over you and before long, perhaps, the usual suspects shall appear. Doubt, guilt, self-hatred – the sensation that “no matter what I do, it will change nothing.”

“Whatever I read at this point, they will just be words.”

There they are, the self-defeating thoughts come one after another, building from a trickle into a flow and eventually into a deluge that comes to define every single day, before which the pages of the calendar themselves are washed away in words that you told yourself, messaging that eventually led the days to come and pass, eventually leading you to the day of the trial, on which you decided that nothing would have changed anyway, and you call the outcome fate.

I want to remind you that it is not too late. You may think that you are unable to do anything. But that is not the reality.

True, you may be one step closer towards a challenge that you find difficult to overcome.

True, you may not be able to accumulate the skill, the perspicacity, the knowledge, ability, that you hoped for or that would bring you beyond the boundary line.

All true.

No problem whatsoever.

But have you ever thought to ask yourself, can it really be that your efforts will mean nothing?

Can it truly be that even if you step forward at this point in time, you will not move further?

What you do in this single moment, you think is but a simple drop in the bucket.

A step that once taken is the end of it.

But I believe something different.

Because I believe that how you made that decision, feeling as if nothing would change, will repeat itself.

If nothing matters in the future, then surely nothing matters now.

Because what is the future but something that is forever becoming the present?

And what is the present, but something that is continually evolving into the past?

When you speak of future outcomes, of which there is uncertain and contingent nature, remember that they are not as far away as you think. Because eventually, they will come.

You say you’ve abandoned the journey because you cannot get the grade that you want.

The A*, the scholarship, anything else at the end of the day.

But right now, I want you to wake up.

Wake up, child.

Did you think this was just about the grade?

Did you forget why you came to this website in the first place?

You didn’t come to just find a random strategy in order to excel.

Well, that was certainly part of it. But if that was all you thought, then you had missed the entire point. Because the point here was that you would learn to appreciate language, its gift, and everything that it would bring along with it.

This was something that had always existed in a plane apart from just your worldly or material achievements. And you are saying now that it is meaningless simply because you only have a month and some change in front of you to make the difference that you thought in the moment of weakness that you should be able to make?

Well, since you are here right now, instead of browsing another 15 TikTok videos that will eventually fade into nothingness but a memory of a dancing girl with no particular talent, you may as well recall for a moment that everything in life builds upon everything else. Because everything is holistic, whether you think so or you don’t.

Every single one of your efforts, in a way that may be unknown to you at this point or at this stage of your life, will somehow count, if not necessarily enough in such a way that it will transform your grade, then definitely still in terms of transforming your mindset towards approaching this world.

Because you are here, you know that there is a chance.

Because you are here, you know that you have the power to change something. Yet you are spending your time avoiding the problem, transforming even this resource into material for procrastination rather than using it in its best form.

Leave that shattered thought behind.

You do not need it and it does not serve you.

Why should you allow an occupier to stand in the fertile territory of your mind when it does not help you?

You don’t believe me?

You want to give up?

Go ahead, drop your First Language English. Maybe you can pick up Cantonese or something like that, although for some reason I don’t think that an IGCSE for that exists. 

Or you could do better.

You could read a single sample essay. You could then write a single essay. You could compare it on that particular day, thinking about the marking criteria, which in your head seem to make sense, yet somehow they differ from what you see on the site.

You could read a single article, thinking about the language it uses, how it affects you, what it impacts, the small little things that I ask you to focus upon, but that often you may ignore. You can ask a friend to read your work, sign up for a last-minute workshop, take a brief moment to reflect on what you are doing, why you want this grade, whatever grade it is, as you realign yourself to the future.

Remember, everything counts.

Even if you feel that you’ve not been running fast enough, don’t look away. The finish line is still ahead. The race didn’t end. And what you need to do right now is move ahead. It doesn’t matter what placing you get, because at the end of the day, you’re all going to the same destination – The destination – not of a grade, not of a specific checkpoint – certainly that of becoming better than you were, even if just by a little bit, as you move forward into a future rife and full of possibilities.

There Are No Miracle People: The Myth of Being “Naturally Good at English”


In a recent class, I talked to some of my students about Greek myths – specifically the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, and I think myths are really cool, the students really liked it, and I think I’ll probably do it again. And so today, what I want to talk about is another myth, and that will apply to many of you out there, the myth of being naturally good at English. 

Now many of you out there are reading this, possibly as second language speakers, or people who just haven’t been doing your best on the First Language English exam, to the point that you need help, you need assistance. 

There’s nothing to be ashamed of, but along the way, some of you may have developed the attitude that maybe some people are just naturally good at English. 

You might think, wow, these people just had a natural talent from the outset, wow, these people had a natural talent from the start, how can I possibly compete? 

It’s fate that they’re doing better than me, and all I can do right now is just read this website so I can get last-minute tips before the exam. 

Uh-huh, I know some of you… All too well!

One thing though… It’s not true. 

Unfortunately though, a lot of people believe it – This idea that there’s an insurmountable divide between those who have talent and those to whom it was not given. 

People blaming themselves for not having talent, declaring that it was fate that they weren’t able to do well, making any number of excuses. 

I won’t say that talent doesn’t exist, because that would be disingenuous, a lie to you and me, but in times like these, I do like to think of a famous scholar from an entirely different discipline –

And with that in mind, I present you the great polymath and scholar Richard Feynman. 

Feynman was an incredible science educator. Feynman was the creator of the legendary theory of quantum electrodynamics, otherwise known as QED, which describes how light and matter interact with one another. 

Widely regarded as one of the smartest people in the world, his contributions have revolutionized the entire world, and continue to do so in fields such as quantum computing, nanotechnology, laser technology, and so on. 

But why I mention him is none of these reasons: It is because of this 50 second YouTube clip, There Are No Miracle People. 

You can go ahead and watch it right down here, and I guarantee you that it will be a better watch than the majority of the 20 minute long, drivel laden motivational videos that you watch on YouTube.

In the video, Feynman says quite simply what I believe: 

“There are no miracle people. It just happens they got interested in this thing and they learned all this stuff. They’re just people. There’s no talent, a special miracle ability to understand quantum mechanics”… and you can substitute that with English… “or a miracle ability to imagine electromagnetic fields that comes without practice, and reading, and learning, and study.” 

I’ve found that that’s true, most assuredly, for almost all of my students. The students of mine who have done the best are the students who have dedicated time towards actually learning the English language. 

And of course you might say, teacher Victor, that’s unreasonable. 

How could you tell people to study day in day out? We all need our lives.

And to that I say, the very idea of First Language English is that you use it in your day-to-day life. Why should an exam that’s dedicated towards assessing your capability to use English as a first language not test your ability to take in your day-to-day conversation and all the things that come into your life on a day-to-day basis? 

Was it supposed to be easy or trivial? Were you supposed to just read this site or get a premium membership and then gain the grade that you wished for?

Sorry, but it’s not that easy.

By spending more time with English, you will gain so many opportunities that you will scarce be able to even count them. 

But whether you can capitalize on those opportunities or not comes down to recognizing what an opportunity actually is. 

It comes from seeing that that movie, that K-drama, that song, or that interesting article about a celebrity that almost nobody cares about except you, is a potential source of reading, listening, speaking, and writing material to inspire your thoughts and to give you things to think about in the English language. 

A lot of this really is stuff that you’re already doing but you might not interpret it as part of your English learning – and so a huge part of even starting to learn and to become one of those miracle people is to accept that you are constantly in a learning environment, immersed in the English language, and opportunities to develop yourself that you might not see unless you start opening yourself up to the sheer variety of language that exists in this world and that you should learn from. 

When you take that extra step of awareness of how others interact and use language, it will impact your life. 

How people speak, how they think, how they articulate themselves natively in English in order to achieve their purposes, to create effects, whether it’s suspense or anticipation – tell stories that captivate your heart, your mind, and your soul in ways that aren’t exclusive to the medium, whether English, Chinese, Japanese, or whatever it is that your native language is, and that transcends every single medium of discovery. 

Remember that First Language English is not just about your vocabulary and your grammar, it’s about how you use the language. Paying that extra attention and realizing the opportunities for you to learn will enable you to constantly immerse yourself in ways that you may never have anticipated before. 

In closing, I’d like to echo Feynman one more time. 

There are no miracle people. 

Every single one of you who is reading this right now and who will get an A* at the end of the day will have worked hard, will have practiced, will have read papers, will have trained your ears, your tongue, your ability to recognize natural speech patterns, and to put them down on paper even as you go through this process of preparing for one of the most important exams of your entire life. 

Whatever you do though, however you feel right now, and if you take nothing else away from this article, consider this: 

I want you not to cut yourself out by thinking that you couldn’t do it because it was fate, because remember, there never were any miracle people. There were just people who spent more time with the language, who wanted it hard enough. 

True, part of that is a person’s nature, but it’s something that if you are thinking about right now, and if you’ve read all the way to the end, I know that you can bring about in your life, here, now, and today, have some faith in yourself, because I know that if you want to become a miracle person at the end of the day, you can, and you will make that miracle happen and it will not be an accident.

Work hard, my friends – I’m confident that you can create your miracles 🙂

Yours as always,


Free Book! (For underprivileged students)


Recently, some of you asked me about the method of distribution that I’ve chosen for my first book. Expressing your concern, you have come up to me and said:

“Do you control your work from being accessed?”

The answer is no.

“Aren’t you worried that people will pirate it?”

The answer is no.

“People have been sharing your book around recently… Aren’t you afraid?”

…Well, maybe I would be, if you forwarded the book itself to the entire universe! 😂

In fact, if you need the book because you’re underprivileged or poor or unable to pay for the book…

Just fill in this form 🙂

Please fill in this form and I will send the book to you.

Some people proceeded to ask… Aren’t you afraid that people will just pirate the book and send it out to the world?

Honestly, this has been a year of firsts and I never imagined that I would ever be in this position…

But no, I’m not afraid.

Here’s why.

I think that people have a natural instinct to share good things, and that piracy is inevitable. As a creator, it is my first time facing this prospect, yet at the same time though, I think that good works will be rewarded eventually.

…Does that sound naive?

I think that sounds a bit naive, so let me explain my thought process.

If someone pirated the book, I guess that there are three reasons why this could have happened.

The way I see it, if you did choose to pirate the book, there are then three possibilities as to why you might have chosen to do so.

  1. Somebody sent the book to you because they thought that it was just that good.

You may have been thinking: Is this resource for real? Is this person legitimate and can we trust him? Can so much value really be offered in a single webpage? Why are there are hundreds of people visiting it simply within two weeks of its creation and why are people discussing it all over my groups?

Can the book be that good? I need to check I need to check I need to check!!!


See: Artist visualization, lol.

Upon realising its value, you may then have chosen to utilise it on a day-to-day basis, perhaps unconsciously, choosing to use it while forgetting where it has come from.

If that is the case, then I am incredibly satisfied as it looks like I delivered something great! That is exactly the outcome that I intended to achieve, and I am tremendously happy that I have been successful in achieving it.

If you are financially able and you see value in supporting my mission, all I ask is that you will decide to procure it for yourself if you identify with the basic message that I am communicating across and you see it as valuable for me to be able to deliver that message in days ahead. You will be contributing to wards the advancement of this subject and the understanding of many students in the days ahead, and I look forward to meeting you!

If you identify with the basic message and would like to support me as a creator, consider buying the book and fueling the journey forward!

That now brings us to the second possible reason as to why it is that you might choose to pirate:

2. You are in a situation of financial need.

I acknowledge that this is a possibility – there are many people around the world who are both incredibly deserving, while at the same time lacking in the opportunities that put so to elevate them to the next level, and I am always conscious of that because I was one of those people as well.

It’s difficult, isn’t it? You find yourself in a situation where you wish to do the right thing, but somehow or another circumstances, do not allow you to do that, and no amount of reasoning or thinking, is going to resolve that problem immediately.

If that is you and you are poor and incapable of paying, then I want to tell you this: once againyou are in the right place, and if you deeply believe in the transformative power of education, and are looking for the evidence that it may change your life, then all you need to do is think about the person who is saying these words to you now (more on this later!)

If you are indeed in a situation of financial need and you find yourself unable or incapable of purchasing the book without a dire sacrifice to yourself because of familial circumstances or otherwise, you have no need to pirate: simply go up to me and speak with me, and I will send you the book myself. There is no need for you to sacrifice your conscience for some thing as petty as this, and I am happy to send you the book if you feel that it is going to meaningfully benefit you.

If somehow still you are unable to reach me or you feel embarrassed, knows that I do not feel any anger towards you for that and I understand why you did what you did in the situation that you did it: please do what you need to do and go in peace, though I hope you will remember me when you grow older or have a better situation for yourself.

3. You are not in a situation of financial need, but you think “that is a good resource, and I would like to use it without paying for it”.

I think that that is possible.

Whether we like it or not, there are people in this world who sense of ethics does not necessarily accord with those that reflect our own personal sensibilities – is the solution then to simply assume that the entire world is evil? I guess not.

Yet, I think it is also rather unlikely.

While certainly it is possible, that is not what the evidence has told me so far.

The evidence has shown you that those of you who have made the purchase are conscientious, willing to step up, and unwilling to do wrong – even if there are some amongst you who have made the conscious choice to use the book without actually paying for it, the support that I have received from the community at large has been extensive to the point that I have yet to notice, and that even if there are bad elements in our community who have chosen to use this be sauce without paying for it, I can confidently and comfortably ignore that sort of behaviour and instead choose to cherish the abundant good that all of you have chosen to show me in your choices to engage and also to make use of the knowledge that is contained within it.

Thank you!

Thank you for your overwhelming support and your voices of concern.

Thank you for caring about me and for the message that I am sending out – that it is valuable for people to learn how to use English in the best of ways, and to make use of it.

For your concern, I am thankful.

For the ways that you reached out and tell me about the things that you have seen fit to point out, I am abundantly grateful.

It is for this reason and for many more that I have no particular of your of piracy and instead repost in a deep confidence that if you are going to use this resource that you will pay for it fairly and in turn will meet me upon the ground where we are supposed to meet and can therefore engage in the most meaningful of ways as we move on a journey to work is your highest fulfilment.

At the end of the day, the reason that I do this is not primarily for the money. Rather, it is for the sake of trying to create something that is actually beneficial to society because I know that at an earlier time of my life, I would have appreciated something like this as well.

Once again, thank you, and I look forward to seeing you in the members’ section!