Monday, February 23, 2009

Marginalised and Low

Humans are low. Marginalising people according to their skin and gender. Just because they were a little darker and didn't have a penis, they were sidelined. But they rose above. So kudos to these so-called marginalised writers.

What is amazing about these marginalised writers is that in their writing, they capture the reality of being discriminated. While other 'white' and 'male' poets were whining about love and nature, they were coping with the agony of discrimination. And that what makes their literary works transcend time. Because today, humans are still low.

Dr. Edwin read us a Hilary Tham poem, and I find it really novel - especially with the comparison of a wilted rose to a 'spent cock'. Some may find it crude and obscene, but I find it novel. Many male poets used the female sexual organs in their poems, so was Hilary Tham backlashing? Was she making a bold statement? Whatever it was that went through her head, I thought the image made "The Rose" a brilliant poem.

However, when you look at Malaysian female writers, they don't seemed to be marginalised, because of the many published works by them. They talk about discrimination, tradition, abuse, poverty and many more. Our Malaysian female writers ARE as good as men. It's nice to see that they are acknowledged.

Maybe we are not so low after all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lo and behold, your supervisor!

It felt like judgment day. And he is God. Dr. Edwin, that is. He, who selects his people, assigns them with his fellow rulers. He who has transgressed the most, will be assigned with Hades, Lord of the Underworld. And I, I have transgressed. I got Hades. I buried myself deep in the cold earth.

Okay, so I’m being a little too dramatic. But it was scary. We were crossing our fingers till it became entangled to get the ‘good’ supervisors. Yes, we have judged and ‘categorized’ them into good and bad. And yes, we know it’s uncalled for but we are students and that’s what we do. And because of that, I got one of the ‘bad’ ones, while my other sinful friends escaped unscathed.

Why we say ‘bad’ is because we have heard many grueling stories about him.

Then I picked myself up. It can’t be that bad? I’m going to have to will it if I have too. My fellow supervisee mates and I had already made a date with him. We will prevail.

But he canceled our very first meeting. Awesome.

Luckily (we still had luck to back us up) he is teaching us this semester, so it was easier for us to ‘catch’ him. So we finally had that bloody meeting. And he was…okay I guess? He just told us to do whatever we want as long as it pertains to literature, and since literature is not his cup of tea, he doesn’t give two hoots of whatever topic or text we want to use. That’s good, I guess? But I wished he could give us at least a little restriction so that we won’t swerve out of track. However, there was something off with his minor requirement for our paper. He wants our paper to be like a CONVENTIONAL RESEARCH PAPER, with ABSTRACT, LITERATURE REVIEW, METHODOLOGY and DATA. I had this really flabbergasted face in which he instantly asked me to wipe off. He told us it’s going to be okay, that we don’t have to think it too hard. Right. Face, still flabbergasted.

All in all, I realized he’s not that bad. Since we’re having classes with him this semester, it’s easier for us to hunt him down and have regular meetings with him. Plus, he seems like a nice supervisor, though slightly demented.
We will all get through this. We will prevail.

Road to Confusion

Bahira came to class with a DVD in hand. “Dr. Edwin wants us to watch this,” she said. “He wants us to observe the teacher in the story and his teaching method,” she continued. Or I think she said that. Well anyway, we just have to pay close attention to the teacher and anything to do about teaching. The title of the movie is Road Home, and Jessie squealed in familiarity. “It’s about a teacher teaching in a rustic village, whereby the teacher just continued her lesson even though she has only one student attending,” she claimed.

So we sat down and watch the movie and waited for the dedicated teacher in the movie to inspire us. And waited. Anytime soon we thought, probably during the flashback. Probably when the silly girl stops being silly. Probably when the girl finally gets the teacher. Probably when…wait, flashback’s over, and the story ends with the narrator teaching at his father’s school. Jessie said it might be the wrong movie, but same director.

There was barely anything about any teaching methods – only the part where the teacher walks along the road with his student memorizing lines out loud, as in a drill. The story is mainly about a silly little girl who is infatuated with a Neanderthal-ish teacher with really bad hair and how she stupidly brought agony on to herself (I know I’m being too critical of her, but I really hated her needy, stalker -like character). We were confused. If Dr. Edwin meant this as a prank for us, then he is an absolute genius.

Dr. Edwin said we probably read the movie wrong. Maybe we did. He is yet to explain this nasty joke to us.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm a trampoline

Next year, I will be starting my life as a teacher. It’s hard to perceive myself as a teacher, as I have never thought of becoming one. Well of course, I want to be a good teacher. But what makes a good teacher? I think a fun and inspiring one is. So, I want students to have fun learning. I want students to dream big and go for it. I want to inspire them to reach for the sky. But if ever they fall, I want to be there to catch them and start over.

That would make me…a trampoline. Yes, I see myself as a trampoline for my students.

Trampolines are fun. I want my students to have fun learning in my class, take learning as a fun experience. When they enjoy a lesson, it automatically sticks in their head.

Trampolines enable you to jump higher than you normally could. I want that for my students. I want to help them to jump higher and touch the sky. I want to inspire them to dream big, and work hard to reach it.

And finally, trampolines are always there to fall on. I want to always be there for them. Their aims and goals may not be able to be realized, so I can be their safety net. Once they have taken the fall, I will encourage them to try again. They will learn to jump high again.

The question is, am I capable to be their trampoline?

I'm learning.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing the position paper: I think I’m screwed

I have started writing the position paper, and have finished writing it actually. I have started writing it right after Mr. Omit approved my thesis statement. But to start writing was not as easy as I thought it would be, even though I have all the necessary arguments. It took me about three hours just to come up with the introduction, and I needed two hours to write each subsequent paragraphs. I guess that is why they called it a “position paper” and not just some essay. However, I enjoyed writing it. Probably because it made me think critically for my stand was of my own, not something lifted from the world wide web. I have a problem though, I only have four arguments to justify stand. Friends said that Mr. Omit asks us to provide 4 to 5 points, which means mine is sufficient enough, but I remembered clearly that Dr. Edwin mentioned 5. The poem that I’m writing on has 4 stanzas, so that makes the 4 points. And if Dr. Edwin’s instruction overrules Mr. Omit’s (which obviously will be), that means I’m so screwed. My backup plan? A paragraph for a counter-argument. The problem? Neither Mr. Omit nor Dr. Edwin mentioned about writing counter-arguments. I’m so screwed.