Thursday, April 29, 2004

Teacher Idol

There was this disturbing news about a principal who resigned from a school whose name can be unwittingly mistaken as the male genital. This was a result of a parent's (tale tellers) complaint to the police about a student who was hit on her head by the Principal with a soft cover book. And the best part about this whole episode, was that it was not the daughter of the complaining parent who was hit; she was merely performing her civic/moral responsibility. Neither did she expect that things would turn out this way. I caught a short snippet of her interview with CNA and she claimed that "Mr Ng" (Not me but the principal) was agood principal but he should take responsibilities for his action. However she did not expect the decision to quit. Well, to bring up the problem to the police and to escalate it to the point where the major newspapers and major broadcasting stations (CCN, CNBC, CNA, Channel I, Channel U, Channel 5, Channel 8 , Suria etc etc) turn this whole into a media circus, she should have already anticipated the damages done.

Let's get this straight ( homosexuality is frowned upon :P) Teachers and Principals are after all human beings and sometimes we are also susceptible to emotions. While I agree that hitting a student is not right, but I think students are generally overly protected. An ex principal interviewed succinctly summarise my take on this by saying that, in the good old days (as compared to the bad young days now) it is little surprise when teachers or even principal punished the students. I had my ears twisted to different form of contortions, forced to squat outside the classroom, given "karate chops", in a badly veiled disguise of massage from some frustrated teachers. We don't even dare to tell our parents about these acts of concern for fear that we will get an extra dosage of the acts of concern from our parents. In fact it was heartening to say the least for some of the parents who totally agree to hitting kids when they are in the wrong. Come on, that's how you learn. Sorry if I ascribe to the violent means of promoting education.

I am most upset by the behaviours of parents who want the best for their parents. They treated these kids like precious little gold nuggets, good to see but cannot touch. These kids grow up to be like little devils who had their parents' literally eating out of their palms. Teachers are like vehement demons which they are protecting the kids from. They rather listen to their children than the painstaking effort of the teachers to tell them the problems with their devilish kids. And worse the teachers ended up looking like bad guys. Sigh what type of jobs give you so much satisfaction like this?

In fact in a shocking parallel, I deduce that as the country get more and more educated, we started to treat the students with more respect so as to fit this "civilised" image that we had. But it has to be said that "Spare the rod and spoil the kid"; this statement will remain true for a long long time. I think that we need to now learn the art of "suan"ing or sarcasm to better cope with our frustration with the students. Just refrain from using word s that are too definitive such as "stupid" etc. Nowadays kids are soooooo sensitive, a small issue and they start falling from storeys above. Last time when teachers insulted us, we took in in our stride like men and get on with life. I think that is why we are much tougher than the kids nowadays.

So I decided to end this nonsensical rambling with a tribute to the American Idol 3, not the singers but to the witty Simon Cowell. If all teachers are so witty and of course dripping sarcasm, School would be a wonderful place to study in...YES. And by the way, John Stevens is out.. well it is about time for the Clay Aiken look alike. Let's put it this way, He had done well to advance and that I believe is good enough. All the best to his future endeavours...

Some excellent quotes from the man Simon Cowell

"If you would be singing like this two thousand years ago, people would have stoned you."

"If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, a lot of people would be drowning."

"You sang like someone who sings on a cruiseship... halfway through I imagined the ship sinking"

"My advice would be if you want to pursue a career in the music business, don't."

"Did you really believe you could become the American Idol? Well, then, you're deaf."

"We brought some people back to shine... you didn't. sorry."

"you had about as much passion as a kitten mewing"

"You have just invented a new form of torture"

"This is a pen not a magic wand."

"There's only so much punishment a human can take. I can't take anymore."

"Do you have a lawyer? Get a lawyer and sue your teacher."

"That was extraordinary! Unfortunately, it was extraordinary bad."

"I think you invented notes never ever heard before in music."

-Do you want to hear the chorus?
"No, I couldn't hear anymore."

-Well it's my first audition.
"I'm not surprised, and it should be your last."

"If you were to win and sing a song, you would kill the American record industry. That's how bad you are."

"You're one of the worst singers I've ever heard in my life."

"I'm going to reach out with a hook if you don't shut up."

"That wasn't dreadful and it wasn't horrible. It was absolutely ghastly."

"Phone up your vocal coach and demand a refund."

''I can honestly say you are the worst singer in America.''

''When you entered this competition, did you really believe that you could become an American Idol? [Contestant nods affirmatively.] Well, then, you're deaf. Thank you. Goodbye.''

''I think you're a boring performer. The laugh was hideous. I think you've blown it.''