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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Buck Group 8 - Self Esteem

In the old communist Eastern Europe, revolutions were born in cafes and pubs. Here in Singapore, the Bucky 'revolution' happens in this tiny hair salon where Joo Hock serves. This is the place where we gather on Saturday mornings for our Bucky education, before the salon starts its business.
This week we watched a documentary movie on "Self Esteem", based on the thoughts of Monsieur Michel de Montagne who retired at the age of 38 to become a full-time philosopher in France. He mentioned particularly about people who has a complex about their own bodies, leading to their loss of self-esteem and also that formal education, even in the elite Oxbridge colleges don't teach students about how to become wise. Michel call such graduates mere 'blockheads' and opined that it is possible to be wise without formal education.
I feel that some of the points brought up in the movie are perhaps more of a lesson to Europeans who are overly conscious about their body and its natural functions like farting or making other noises whilst in the toilet closets. Asians tend to be more natural about those processes. Perhaps even a little too easy about them. So, you get a fart here, a spit there...etc.
This lead to Joo Hock's Teochew poem that goes...
The Farter is the gentleman
The Laugher is the small man
Fart is bodily gas
Not farting will injure the body
(You are allowed to laugh at this poem...)
I had once taught in a local polytechnic. In my classes, my lessons were mainly experiential.
In my exams, I refused to have multiple choice questions as I have rarely encountered (if at all) any problem in my life that has four multiple choice answers with one of them correct and three others definitely wrong. Instead, most of the time, all the answers are wrong, and it is up to us to make it as right as possible.
Also, all my questions are scenario based. The scenario is described in the question and the students are to describe how they are going to solve the problem. So it could start as : "What is the question, given this scenario?" or rather, "What is the problem?" or "Where is the problem?"
I had also taken great pains in conducting oral interviews with each student individually, to let them learn how their suggested answers to the problems measure up.
Sadly, after a year, I was ejected out of the course. The students complained in the feedback forms that I didn't know how to teach. So, it didn't pay going the extra mile to make the students think. Incidentally, my favourite lecturer from another polytechnic quit in frustration. He said that the system encourages teachers to take the safe route by giving easy lessons and easy exams. *sigh* No wonder we produce 'blockheads'!
Here's the new Bucky Group T-Shirt...

The Bucky Group meets every week:


8-10am at Hair Affair, Basement 1, The Adelphi, Opposite Funan IT Mall, Singapore

Breakfast, book reading/movie, discussions and brunch


7-9.30am at MacRitchie Reservoir

Jogging, book reading and discussion and breakfast

All welcome. No membership and no payment required. Agreement and belief is not necessary. Just turn up with an open mind to explore.

Past Posts:
Bucky Group 7 - Thinking Out of the Box,

Bucky Group 6 - Specialisation,
Bucky Group 5 - Independent Thinking,
Bucky Group 4 - Local, Global and Universal-Penang Hill,
Bucky Group 2,Bucky Group,
Usury 2b - World Game,
Usury 2a - World Game,
Usury 2 - World Game,Usury,

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