Teaching the subject I teach has achieved what 4 years in SCI and 6 months with SPH couldn’t- getting me truly, deeply interested in current affairs.
In the past, i questioned the need of knowing who important leaders were and how their actions would have a greater impact on my life. Ok, granted that i loved to read=) But what i really enjoyed perusing were advertising copy, entertainment tabloids, and fiction novels (thrillers, classics, sci-fi, fantasy,murakami-type surreal novels,descriptive literature) or at the most, autobiographies and pop philosophy. I really saw no concrete value in knowing about the Holocaust, beyond the obvious fact that it was a terrible tragedy and that anti-Semitism (or any form of scapegoating and discrimination for that matter) was bad news.
But having to teach changed all that apathy. I was quite taken aback today, by a shocking realisation that i really enjoy Time and Newsweek. Like seriously really. In fact, i find them, in students’ lingo, blawdy interesting. Good material whenever i am on public transport, in the car, or when i am ahem, in the toilet haha. It was intriguing reading about the Dalai Lama and his unbelievably calm approach towards the dissent in Tibet. It was infuriating reading about the crackdown on foreign press in Tibet and the Internet’s power in advancing leaderless Jihad. It was amusing reading about the gridlock in Bangkok and thought-provoking to read about Barack Obama’s rather uneasy relationship with the Trinity Church. Even news about the sub-prime crisis and how the meltdown of the US economy would affect China was rather enlightening. China is getting so big it is scary- almost every other odd issue devotes extraordinary space to the People’s Republic. China is rising so quickly that journalists saw it fit to warn people about the consequences of boycotting the Olympics in the face of violence in Tibet and Darfur. Yes, China is officially a force to be reckoned with, that is if she doesn’t screw things up.
And so, it was almost as if at age 27, i suddenly saw how inter-connected the world really is, and how we, by our mere insignificant and meagre existence can yet, somehow influence and be influenced by global occurrences. The floodgates of globalization have really opened and a deluge of threats accompanied by opportunities must be embraced.
Therefore, education has naturally changed in order to churn out Singaporeans who are needed to tackle the challenges ahead. Thing is, I am not too sure if everything is working the way it is, and if the rich-poor/elite-heartlander (Ok, i really hate the word “heartlander” Like what the…?! But well, every other word sounds crude. The underprivileged? The ordinary? Whatever!)divide is about to get worse with the new initiatives.
God bless our future generations. I sure wouldn’t want to be in their shoes=p One more thing, i actually saw three Africans playing basketball in the CC today. It was altogether a rather disturbing experience. Africans in Orchard Road is one thing, but right in the heartland? Wow.