Skip to main content

Excuse Me, Are You A Thumb Drive?

Having just upgraded to Windows 10 (yes, I know, I am a latecomer to the party), my default start page for Window Edge always comes with news feed about a third way down from the top of the screen. It didn't matter that I clicked Hide Feed numerous times. Irritating!*


The good thing about news feed is that I learnt this morning that Chow Yun Fatt got a nip and tuck. But come on, do I really need to know that?

However, I stopped my futile silent ranting in my mind when I saw another headline: "Mum admits abusing 4-year-old who later died"


I was dumbfounded when the article reported that the trigger for such violence from his own mother was supposedly because the little boy was unable to recite 11 to 18 in Malay.


What is reciting 11 to 18 in Malay supposed to accomplish that the inability to do so warrants such a violent response?


From the report that this mother was unemployed and possibly in financial difficulties, I guess this is an extreme example of societal pressure to get ahead which had led this particular mother to have such performance expectations from the child.


I will not lie to say that I am totally beyond the reach of this pressure to get ahead for our princess in the rat race we call primary school education. However, I am still a firm believer in the saying that the journey is more important than the destination. 


At 4 years old, our princess has merely just started lesson proper (i.e. learning to count, read and write). Throughout her learning, reciting numbers was never a requirement because merely reciting numbers is totally useless if the child does not understand what the numbers actually represent. Similarly, we have never recited the alphabets with princess from A to Z (and come to think of it, even now at 11 years old she cannot really sing the alphabet song fluently from A to Z!) because she was on Montessori method which emphasizes on phonics.


Lots of parents out there seem to think that when their child is able to recite fill-in-the-blanks, this gives them the evidential proof they badly needed to convince themselves that their child is indeed intelligent especially when their child is still very young. So is it our own vanity at stake or our fear of our child falling behind at work here? Whichever the case, while it is a laudable achievement for both the parent and the child involved, they couldn't have been more wrong.


The mental ability to memorize is often used as an indicator of intelligence. No doubt, the two are strongly linked, but memory alone is not always a reliable indicator of intelligence.


Memorising and reciting 三字经, 古诗 or 弟子规 is a fine example. While the attempts to memorise and recite these are commendable, it is as worthless as a piece of garbage in your pocket if the child does not understand what comes out of his/her mouth. That's before we even progress to talk about application of these classics to daily life situations.


However, I must caveat that the only exception to the above would probably be times tables. For this, there is just no two ways about it. Even having said so, I must emphasize that I have gone through extensively the mechanics of multiplication (i.e. why 2 x 4 = 8, and what does it represent) with princess before starting her on memorisation.


In today's world, I do not believe that sheer memory power is the key to getting ahead, unless you are a thumb-drive. Princess brought back from school a handy-dandy A5-sized booklet of P5/P6 好词佳句 and was sitting at the table memorising a handful of sentences from it last night in preparation for the Chinese dictation the following day. I was aghast! First, it was her Chinese tutor and now even her own school teacher is moving toward patchwork composition.  


I think either the world has gone quite mad or I just did.

*Post edit 4.4.2016: I managed to find something called "Settings" and did something about that pesky newsfeed. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Post-meditated Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup

I cannot help but notice that recently the trendy words that seem to flood the wellness media always carry words like “self-care”, “meditation”, “gratitude”, and even “mindfulness” has been thrown in for good measure. Yes, all these single-word suggestions sound good. We all need to know how to take our stress level down a few notches at a time when we need to keep our face masks up.  So when I read the news about a nail being found in the pumpkin mushroom soup of an unidentified Asian passenger on board our national carrier bound for Auckland, imagine my dilemma. Should I feel grateful that my previous soups on board were served without any nails? Or should I feel grateful that I could not afford to fly our national carrier often enough to be served soups which might actually have carried nails or other specials in them? As you can see, I am pretty new to this wellness speak and hence very confused about this “gratitude” aspect of the trend.     Like any dutiful social m

Rosemary Cuttings

I think I am really bored with life. So bored that I am trying my hands are transplanting my rosemary plant! This is just after I killed by some mint off-shoots recently by transplanting them. I have black fingers, I think. Not that I need another rosemary plant. I am just plain curious why some people here are able to root a cutting from a Cold Storage pack . It sounds so easy that it is absurdly unfair. Maybe it is just my lack of technique and common sense when it comes to plants. Here's a link that I found helpful about transplanting rosemary . Seems that the chances of success for my transplanted rosemary doesn't look high. I didn't dip it in rooting powder (!!??), I transplanted it in medium sized container, and the soil is of highly questionable source (don't ask). Well, if the little fellow didn't make it, you will hear of it here soon.

Main Course Salads: Salade Nicoise

My motivation for looking into main course salad was born out of sheer laziness. I was looking for a one-dish meal (less plates) that requires minimal cooking (less pots/pans) and packs lots of veggies as well as being filling. No skimpy wimpy diet salads for this gal. So if I have to put this into a checklist of evaluating a salad, it would probably look like this. Salade Nicoise has all the ticks in the check-boxes. Everything in this salad can be made ahead of time. Right down to the proteins of eggs and fish (either canned tuna or leftover grilled salmon). Now, isn't this dish time friendly? The dressing for Salade Nicoise is just a simple olive oil and acid mix (ratio is 1 : 1.5)with shallots and herbs thrown in together with Dijon mustard. The recipe for the vinaigrette I used came from The New Best Recipe which you will be able to find it on Simply Recipe . I haven't had many main course salads in restaurants, but from the very few that I had eaten, the dre