Friday, March 07, 2008

Tense, worried, anxious about the impending release of final exam results last night. Tonight, relieved that while unspectacular, my '07 batch met my projections for them with only one surprise -- someone fared much better than expected, though all credit goes to his own efforts at the eleventh hour.

Still, what's got me thinking tonight is that the resuls have been largely unspectacular. Not excellent, not amazing, not stupendous, just... adequate, good enough. These results are sufficient to get them over to the next level, though they aren't going to win anybody any scholarships. Should I be satisfied with that, or could I have pushed them harder to do better than they did?

In S'pore, is adequate ever good enough?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The class of '07 will be descending upon campus tomorrow for the expected reunion at which we will collectively view the fruit of their labours. May my D3s and E2s be happy with their results. As for my intrepid 6 pioneers, I sincerely hope that your courage and trailblazing efforts are well-rewarded, and that the experiment has gotten off on an encouraging start.

All the best for tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Drama Night 08 -- Walls

Drama rehearsals are so much fun, I've almost forgotten. Here we are right at the developmental stages of NYeDC's new original piece, "Walls". While we're crediting Steph as the scriptwriter, it's the cast's own soul-baring, their own stories, and their own workshopping that Steph has woven together into a coherent package.

While Steph's pretty much in control over on this side, I'm panicking on my end. I really need to give my own cast The Talk. If I can have their full attention for just another six weeks, I just know they'll do the old Eunuch proud. In the meantime, I'm grateful for my core cast members who are giving their all, and they've been doing some nice work to date. But the rest of the cast, however... just gotta iron out our scheduling discrepancies. rawrr!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Edit 01:
While the stuff below this para deals with how news articles should be written, my old buddy, Cherry-Ann, has something to say about how journalists should ask questions. Check out his entry:
I know I ought to let go and move on, but even though I'm no longer with NYconneX I still feel the itch to drop in now and then to contribute my occasional 2-cents. I do believe strongly that we have the potential here to create a training ground for students who aspire towards the profession of journalism. Ha! Easy for me to say -- I'm no journalist myself, just someone who writes junk on a blog.

There's a lot of learning that we can acquire just by doing, as I have had through the couple of years I spent editing for the campus 'paper. But without the wisdom of someone who has actually been in the business, the learning tends to be limited and myopic. So, if there are any NYconneX journos out there who are still reading this, here are some sharp insights from SPH's Mr Ngiam about the job. He touches on journalistic professionalism, and the free press and censorship -- issues that a person of his experience is better positioned to advise on than I.

If I was trying to be a serious 'citizen journalist' instead of just some random mad blogger, I would feel humbly chastised by his words.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fact: schools operate on limited resources. It would simply be fantabulous if schools could offer every co-curricula activity (CCA) under the sun, from Aiki-do to Zookeeping, but how can a school apportion its annual budget to keep every activity functioning? Should it be fair and allocate an equivalent amount of cash to every CCA? That'll cater to lots of interests, of course, but a pie can only be sliced so thin before each slice becomes meaningless.

Every CCA has its demands: equipment, attire, and training, for example -- none of which comes cheap. And contrary to popular belief, even schools are not exempt from paying for such, despite our lofty purpose of Educating the Young. So yes, unfortunately schools are also subject to the laws of supply and demand when it comes to allocating resources.

It's simple economics. Supplies and resources get channeled to where demand is highest. How do we determine how much demand there is for a CCA? The question goes back to the students: how badly do you want it? Will you put yourselves on the line, train hard every day, learn the skills to improve yourselves one game at a time, and leave a legacy that will inspire your juniors to press on with your passion once you've advanced to a new division? These are the CCAs that deserve the support of the school which will gladly pay to keep such passion alive year after year. These are the types of CCAs that companies willingly sponsor because they embody the values that the sponsors wish to be associated with. Such CCAs never run out of resources.

What of the other students who may have the interest, but lack the will rise to the top of their game? Or those who just want to play "for fun" not for glory? To these students, honestly, what do they need the school's resources for? There's no point for the school to provide them with professional grade equipment and training if they're just looking forward to a private game of tiddlywinks after class. If they're not embarrassed, I would be.

If students really want to play for fun, they can buy their own cheap stuff, improvise their own play space, organize their own games and play till their hearts' content. That's fun. Nearly any activity can be had with the minimum of resources and a modicum of ingenuity without having to waste precious resources if fun is all you want out of it.

Some people think schools are like Santa Claus, happily distributing toys to all the good little boys and girls. Get real. School is limited, more like a toy box. It may contain great toys or crappy, broken toys, mostly a mix of both. And yet, it doesn't matter because whatever toy in whatever condition you pull out of the box, a real kid will still be able to have fun with it. Perhaps our kids have forgotten how to be kids?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Yorkies of S'pore met once again after a long break of, uh, a few years. Think our old Alma Mater must have got worried and sent down Prof Gerry (3rd from left) to see if any of us were still alive down here.

Fortunately, not only were we alive, but we were also hungry. Tempt us with a bit of food and we'll come running, no questions asked. We descended upon the White Rose Cafe, York Hotel (where else?) for quite a decent high tea.

Joyce had pre-arranged to meet me and Cat here, and we got to make some new friends from among our junior Alumni as well.

There was no formal agenda apart from the eating and table-hopping. It was nice to talk to people again about how much the old campus has changed, how the weather is still as gorgeous as I remember (yes, -20 below has a certain charm to those who've survived through seasons of flaky skin and chapped lips), and how we would never have returned if we had found gainful employment there.

I could have been part of the brain drain, I admit, but then if I didn't go in the first place, I may not even have discovered I had a brain to drain. Um, I do, don't I?