Friday, July 22, 2011

Tangle of thought-threads

Gila yah, ternyata susah nulis yang emo-emoan kalau situasinya adalah: a. besok mulai weekend. b. perut kenyang. c. udaranya mendung enak, ga terlalu panas.

But in truth I have been brooding this past week. The reasons are nothing new, I was just mulling it over and over and again, compounded with anxiety of first time attending special lecture in astronomy to obtain credits, final exam for japanese reading class--intermediate level, the looming conference, plus the fact that I had no clue whether I am supposed to write a report for other classes I attend this semester.

But now a cool Friday evening descended upon Astro Plaza, and save for the cicadas' constant cacophony, it's really quiet so I shall now try to disentangle the threads of thoughts that had been keeping my mind between a hard place and a horrible place.

We shall start with the first thread (out of three, but I'm not sure I'm ready to write about the third): of falling out of religion and parental hopes and expectations.

(If you have a delicate mind, or especially conservative, my following rants may offend you. Save us both the hassle and do not continue. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

On cheating

In light of all the recent news coverage of concerted cheating effort blown apart by one Mrs. Siami, I would like to say that boy, ain't it fun to justly be on the high horse?

On my high horse, looking condescendingly upon the despicable unwashed masses who mobbed Mrs. Siami out of her house; most unlike my parents who taught me to value honestly with stern discipline colored by corporal punishments.


You didn't actually think I'm raised with corporal punishment, did you? Because of course I wasn't.

But back on cheating: to the best of my recollection, I don't think I ever actually cheated on a test, covertly using notes on closed book tests and what not. Even if I did do that at one time or another, the fact that I can't easily recall such instances shows a repression of the experience and thus signalling deep shame and rejection to embody the values from the very activity of cheating in my psyche.

As Duck of Minerva wrote, following Vaughn Shannon, he taught his class that,
"[A] denial of a norm violation constitutes a greater recognition and internalization of that norm than does a justification. (Eg, countries who torture but deny it demonstrate a greater respect for the anti-torture norm than countries who torture but claim their actions are actually allowed under the Torture Convention.)^"
As it were, it never becomes a habit for me. However, I think that the real reason why I don't do that is simply because I see no necessity for it to begin with.

I cruised my primary and secondary education fairly easily--and save for physical education which I loathe with all my life, all the subjects are doable. Up until high school, I might not be the one with the best report cards in my year, but it was more than decent. As long as I put enough hours to study, all is well. And mind you, my experience of enough hours isn't really that high: so the time cost of doing so is not taxing.

Compare that with what others would need to do, rewriting notes in very fine handwriting to fit into minuscule scraps of paper that hopefully are inconspicuous enough to not be noticed by the teachers--I regard such minutiae work more hassle than its worth.

I am fully aware, of course, that not everyone shared the same view as I do.

I am also aware that with the nascent of big-screened smartphones with their powerful cameras, it significantly reduces the time necessary for the preparation of cheating itself. It will be easier and temptation will lure more.

Which if we all agree that honesty and integrity is a noble thing to promote and to instill to the children, it means that more burdens are being squared to the collective shoulders of parents and teachers to do so^^. And this is why the Gadel Sari teachers' and parents' betrayal of those values are even more outrageous.

^ The whole point of this post is really just an excuse to use this quote, really. Such an awesome quote this is.
^^ This is one of the reasons why I shudder at the thought of being a parent. You would need to be a good role model to not contribute even more in fucking up the one Earth that we have right now. Why so many people my age are in rush to get married and have children is beyond my comprehension.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's a circle!

"Without sustainability, we will not maintain prosperity; and without prosperity, sustainability will remain a vain hope. Without justice, there can be no enduring equity or fairness; and without equity, justice becomes a mere formal myth. Without freedom, community withers under the totalitarian; and without community, freedom becomes fraught and lonely desperation."

Totally awesome quote by Roy Morrison, USBIG Discussion Paper No. 017, February 2002.