My Anthem

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Should I have known better?

I'm sure my questons is not original -- if you exchange the first two words in positioning, you will recall the BEATLES hit, yes? I'm sure one NSTman (if thou readeth Desi now, please stand up so I may see thee in the broad daylight...)knows, yet despite my several attempts to ID this mophaired disciple of the Fab Four, he only showed his presence conversing as another Midnight voice.

Let me do some education, especially of those not of the Hippies generation, it's now just past the Yuppies Gen, wired to a Internet instant gratification gen. I lament because at various cafes I go to when my home PC breaks down or goes for a long walk, I pop in at such cafes in Seremban or PJ...but 90% or more of the youths there were engaged in playing Warcraft Games, and very few were using the facility for more useful purposes.

For sharing with non-NSTman-ly wans, I would generalise that the early songs by the Liverpoolian kids had simel lyrics, repeated in tuneful refrain, and more easily memorised than Leisure, so suitable to make one bouncy if you also had gone throught another HARD DAY'S NIGHT!

But it's the bouncy and tuneful beats that made the Beatles numbers so singable and memorable. But I'm not reflecting on songs of Yesterday (when all my troubles seemed so far away...) and today's, but the question posed in the topic.

I am posing this question this rumination Sunday -- no, no CON BF because I have an important lunch date later -- Should I have known better? : because some observations of the younger generation lately trouble me lots. I often have to wander into Internet cafes either in Seremban or PJ when the home PC breaks down or take a long walk, and you would spy young ones totally lost in their own little world except for occasional breaks into inane laughter and a slew of four-letter words let fly for no rhyme or reason. I suspect may of them were also playing truant from school.

They have no time/dime left to look at the damsel's feet how they can dance OR even spare a look at trees or cows.

Why the reference to "trees or cows"? Here's why...
In the olde days before the Internet age, schoolboys had to memorise poems such as this one by WH DAVIES:

(Dear ER: Pardon, I will stop hear as lunch date calls, or is it bacons?)

Ctd, and slightyly amended, can Yes? @3.21pm:


WHAT is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

Just a series of questions I ask of my Esteemed Readers to get some feedback:

Do the youngsters in the Internet cafes, dark and dank, care to Google for poetry or literature to expand their mental horizons?

Do they realise that tools like the PC and Internet hold the potential to create OR break the human spirit?

Are teachers and parents aware of where their charges are, or doing, outside of the school compounds? Especially the parents -- do you know the allowances (geneours ones too I believe with many doting parents trying to compensate for not spending time with their children!) given to young ones could be mis-spent in useless pursuits? Like achieving higher scores than their buddies, also AWOL from school!, in their WarCraft games contest?

I pose these questions because at a Bloggers gathering recently, brudder Mave shared that he had been conducting some lectures (management or law I guess...) and he asked of the hundred-plus students how many would spend time reading the Blogs?

Just a handful of hands would shoot up, maybe less than 10%. Mave observed that the precentages in Singapore and other Western countries would be higher than 1 in 2 i.e. 50% and above.

"And when I had notes extracted from Internet sources that were quoted, the students would demand handouts. Or the majority would not refer to the given references on their own!"

I should have known better about this sad state f affairs.

The root causes stamp from the school system, where rote learning is encouraged, and some teachers are not adequately qualified to teach the subjects given. I hear at first handhand "English" language cikgu whose proficiency is lacking, hence causing the more uo-to-the-English-mark spupils feeling edgy and that they are wasting their time.

And by the the time the youths arrive at the tertiary level, they are expected to remain docile without using a critical mind. Activism at the extra-curriculatrlevels beyond the safe and mundane -- nothing socio-polical!, so lecturers like Maverickysm and Howsy would be deemed suspiciously to be potential subversives! IMHO-lah, OK!

So the development of a socially responsible, critical and analytical mind, and the maturing process of the individual in the most critical academic path among the futture leaders of NegaraKu are restrained by the punitive Universities and University Colleges Act.

And is this sad state of affaits going to be rectified?

You can hope against hope for a solution. I am not optimistic as the present crop of national leaders delude themselves flagging off aspirations of developing local universities par excelence to rival the Ivy League of the US and UK when its premier University of Malaya continues to slip in rankings even among regional universities. Don't compare with the National University of Singapore as the reverse-kiasu Malaysian pemimpin-pemimpin -- or is it spelt pimps? -- label thee unpatriotic?

I should have known better -- many of our leaders are having 40 winks and blinks, or are living testimony of the survivalf of the Rip van Winkles more than the dodo bird. Now, let's sing Song Sung Blue; I know it's not Beatles, but it is still by a Diamond. Diamonds are a rarity among our upper echelons because the best have been by default exported -- and the few left behind are not in national decision-making positions of power.

Earlier this month, I bade farewell to Y&A 17-year-old johnleemk who left on Sept 8, 2007 to pursue tertiary studies ar=t a lleading univeristy in the US. Newly-minted holder of doctorate-from-UK and ipohlang Dr Say Yee How would soon leave for the same foreign shore to undertake further research -- in a field urged by Desi, BTW,-- for that elusive longevity pill that maketh Mave, Howsy and Desi last forever and one more day! Sign up on October 10, 2007 when the next G7 Bloggers meet takes place, and you will be first in line to become guinea pigs testing for Dat Pill!

It's a national state of emergency we are caught in, losing potentail Nobel Przie-winning brains. Mediocrity continues to rule, but I don't know how many fellow Malaysians know that by their inaction, you are also part of the problem. Do you know any better what you need to do?

NOTE: This subject is not closed. Desi may just continue it when a second instalment cometh to mind, mine.

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