Saturday, July 01, 2006

Still busy with marking. New topic: Should scientists be concerned with moral issues? Should be lots of scope for an interesting discussion, particularly as we consider the duties, obligations and responsibilities of the scientist to self and to society, and how the scientist might cope with conflicts between his/her professional conduct and his/her personal ethics especially in the more controversial fields of study.

It's interesting to note, however, that our students still place more emphasis on memorizing and reproducing their lecture notes as verbatim as possible rather than actually considering their material and discussing what they understand with respect to the question. Regardless of our push towards thinking skills, our students still rely on memory as the key indicator of their intelligence, and assume that we will reward them for it.

About half a year left to patch up the damage. It's a living.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Watson ate a fairly long entry. No, didn't save it. Complacent, lah. No morale to retype. Not tonight, anyway. Bah.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


originally uploaded by Xmac2005.
The authorities want to know everything! First, MDA fines people who do not report that they do not own a TV. Now the General Office wants to be informed if we notice that there are no defects in the toilet!

Guess it's always nice to know you're doing a good job!
Marking season begins anew. Currently marking a question on whether the Internet has made a positive or negative impact on our society. The students generally interpret the question as requiring them to point out as many 'net applications and services as possible and decide if they are "good" or "bad." But "impact" is more than being just about features, functions and (side) effects. It refers more to how the 'net has made certain irrevocable changes to our society because of its nature and because of how we use it, and to evaluate if we have bettered our lives/selves/society through these changes, or if we are now worse-off than ever because of these changes.

Once again, I ask myself if I am expecting too much from the kids. But then again, why should I lower my expectations to accommodate them when they will benefit so much more if they can rise to meet them instead?

In other news, we took Abby to her new home last evening. She wasn't happy with the arrangement and we felt like we betrayed her, allowing her to become so comfortable in our house, then pushing her away to live in an orphanage, so to speak. Hope she can find a more permanent home with nice people to look after her soon. Sigh.