Utterly Indiscreet

Friday, July 29, 2005

Handholding Students

I was at a Masters class last night and the professor was talking about how to take good field notes. We are supposed to do some people watching and take notes to practice doing field work observation.

One student asked the prof to show him his notes. Earlier, the prof had shown a video clip and asked the class to take notes to get a taste of what field work is like. Then everyone compared what they wrote as notes. However, this one particular student wanted to see what the prof would write as his notes, so he could copy them.

The prof said that there is no template you can use. You just have to do it yourself. I have to agree. The best way to learn is to do it yourself.

After the class, some of us talked about the student who had asked the prof for his notes. Of course, this opened up a discussion on how students (even adult graduate ones) are so used to having "hand holding." They need a teacher to tell them and show them exactly what to do. They don't want to figure out how to do it themselves.

Arghh!! What is the world coming to when even Masters students can't think for themselves? It's terrible.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Excessive National Day Parade Rehearsals??

I wonder how much does each parade rehearsal cost? How much does it cost to have thousands of security, medical staff, fighter planes and helicopters, floats, and volunteers etc? It must be expensive.

There has been a rehearsal almost every Saturday for the National Day Parade for over a month. The rehearsals are full dress rehearsals too. Everyone is in full costume, the military is everywhere, and the public bus routes are changed from 6 am to 11 pm on Saturdays.

I have never heard of any country rehearsing this much before. I think it is a bit extreme. How many rehearsals are enough? Haven't the organizers worked out the potential problems yet?

I am glad to see Singaporeans excited about something and taking pride in their country. But really....wouldn't just one rehearsal have been enough???

I know it's the 40th Annniversary of Singapore, but still.....

Friday, July 22, 2005

Why are there so many singles in Singapore?

I read an article in Today recently about how there are 23 MILLION single Chinese men in China. It got me thinking. There are a lot of singles in Singapore too. I know tons of people who are in their thirties and single. Most of them have been single for a long time.

So why are there so many single Singaporeans? Is it because they work such long crappy hours in this country that they don't have any time to socialize? A lot of my friends work over 50 or 60 hours a week. I guess after working all day at a job that you don't really enjoy with a demanding boss could really be tiring. You probably just want to leave the office and go home.

Or maybe the problem is not the lack of time, but that singles are too fussy and particular about who they want to marry? They must have the 5Cs (cash, condo, credit card, car, and country club membership). Or they must be good-looking, rich, and have a nice personality?

Another complaint from singles is that there is no place where couples can be alone. Most singles have to live at home with their parents. It's too expensive for singles to get their own place and there are a lot of regulations about who can or can't buy a flat. It's practically impossible for couples to live together before getting married.

Most of my friend's parents don't allow overnight guests. And my friends are thirty something. They are adults, not teenagers! I think it's terrible that couples have to have sex in cars (if they have access to one) or other public places like the stairwell of HDB flats (which I think is disgusting). It's so silly when you have to sneak around with your date.

Why can't parents be more open-minded? Why does sex have to be treated like it's some kind of shameful thing. It's ridiculous. My European friends said their parents allowed them to have boyrfriends or girlfriends stay over whenever they wanted. They would even eat breakfast in the morning together with their parents.

I wish my parents were like that when I lived with them!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Celebrity Bloggers Conference

A friend and I dropped by blog con, a gathering of local bloggers, which was held on July 16 at DXO. I saw a few of the top bloggers in Singapore including mrbrown (his little daughter is like a celebrity herself), mrmiyagi, and the infamous Wendy. It was kind of weird. There were all of popula bloggers getting their photos with other bloggers or with their fans. People treat them like celebrities. No doubt that these photos will be popping up on various blogs in the next few days. There will probably be comments like "Look, there's me and Blogger so and so. Isn't he cute? Isn't he great?"

Actually, the only blogger I really talked to was mrmiyagi who was actually quite a nice guy. I mentioned to mrmiyagi (And yes, he is much shorter in person) that I had been reading his column about blogging in Today. He happened to start writing that column after I had just started my blog. He said that "people who read it, don't blog." But he meant that the purpose of his column was to inform people who don't know anything about blogging. When I told him that I am a new blogger, he told me not to blog about political topics because it's boring. He said I should just blog about whatever interests me instead. It thought that was good advice.

So why do people blog? And why do I blog? I blog to express myself and maybe other people will happen to be interested in what I blog about and we can share opinions. However, I think there are a lot of bloggers out there who are only blogging towards an audience. I kind of disagree with that, but at the same time I can understand how that could happen.

I guess that once a blogger realizes that a lot of people are viewing their blogs every day, they feel that they must have something to blog about. They feel that they must keep their blog really exciting, fun, or controversial to keep their fans. They are no longer blogging to communicate, but blogging to stay popular. Or they are probably tempted to make things up, so their lives seem more interesting to their fans. They probably do stuff, so they can blog or brag about it later.

I haven't been reading a lot of other blogs, but according to one friend who has been blogging a lot longer than I have, some bloggers do start to write a lot differently after they get a fan base. He feels that this drastically decreases their writing quality and effects how they express themselves. They start to censor themselves more because they know they have lots of viewers or they write things only because they think their fans are interested in them- not because the blogger is interested. He also thinks that once people know who he really is or what is his profession, he won't be able to blog anymore. He won't be able to be honest anymore in his blogs. He'll feel self conscious about what or who he writes about.

So maybe I should have a few rules about my own blog. I will go back to them periodically and see how I do.

Here are my blogging rules:

1. Don't blog about work. It's boring and will probably end up only being a string of complaints. I probably do that enough already. No need to torture more people with my complaints.

2. Only blog when I feel like it. My blog is a way to express myself. I should only blog if I really have an opinion about a topic or if I feel inspired about something.

3. Don't lie on my blog. Don't make up stuff or just do stuff so I can blog about it. If I start doing that, then I am writing towards an audience and not just for myself.

So now I just have to wait and see what happens.......let the blogging begin!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Bratty Kids in Public Places

Singaporeans have been accused for being rude and self-centred and many people wonder why. I think I have found the answer! It's poor parenting skills. Parents don't teach their kids how to behave in public. When they grow up and become adults, they won't be able to control themselves.

Recently, I went to a movie and there were many parents there with their little ones. Most were toddlers or below the age of 12. However, none of them knew how to behave. Of course, the really young ones were too young to control themselves, but there is no excuse for the behavior I saw by the others.

Kids kept getting up and changing seats or talking. They really disturbed the rest of the viewers in the theatre hall. Shouldn't the parents have told them to be quiet or take the repeat offenders home?

The problem of bratty kids not only exists in movie theatres. Everytime I take the bus or MRT, I see kids running around and being brats! The parents usually just sit there and let the kids do whatever they want. If the parent tells their kids to behave, then it is only temporary. If I had behaved that way when my parents took me out, I would have been smacked in the head and we would have gone straight home. Why aren't Singaporean parents doing that?

What is going to happen when these kids grow up? They are going to end up becoming impatient and rude adults who don't have any respect for others. They won't know how to behave in public places.

Therefore, children must be taught by their parents about how to behave in public. Parents must tell their kids that it is not acceptable to be running around or making noise in places like movie theatres. If children can't behave, then I think the theatre has the right to tell parents and their kids to leave. They are spoiling the movie for other viewers.

As the old saying goes, "Children should be seen, but not heard. "

Do you agree?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

How Singaporeans Waste Time

During one of my language classes (and no, it was not English), the teacher asked us what we did in our free time. Everyone said they went to the cinema (including me) or went shopping on their days off. All 20 students had the same answer.

This made me think why are people so obsessed with shopping in this country? I know that this is the month of sales. It is the Great Singapore Sale time again and it is only held once a year. Everyone is out hunting for bargains, but honestly, what is going on? Downtown is packed with hoards of local people even when there isn't a sale.

Why do people in Singapore shop so much? I have friends who shop every weekend. Is it because it is too freaking hot to do anything outdoors? Believe me, you can literally go from one air conditioned mall to the next up and down Orchard Road without breaking a sweat. Malls are pretty much side by side all along the roads.

What about the cinemas? They are always busy too. Again, is it because of the air con? Are Singaporeans so whimpy that they can't do anything without air con?

Personally, I liked going to the cinema to escape reality, not just the heat.

However, I think there is something else going on here. Why do people prefer to watch a movie than do something that requires more interaction with others or something more constructive? Do people here shop just to have the latest fashions or brand name goods? Or is there something else going on?

I wonder.....