9 Aug 2012

Past Entry 19

9 February 2012 (...well almost 10 February :P )

No particular reason why I'm doing this now, other than I'm running out of Past Entries at the moment. 

J1s are kinda fresh out of their orientation honeymooning period, feeling really fired up and ready to take on new challenges...sort of. I overheard 2 J1s saying they were extremely sleepy during all the lectures. Pretty soon they're gonna be zombies again, and that could happen even before Project Work unleashes its energy-sapping fangs.

Timetable's getting a new change from next week onwards, and the oh-so-precious 2 hour "protected time" block at the start of every Monday is - wait for it - GONE. No more sleeping in later on Sunday nights! On the other hand, Monday also ends earlier because the periods get shifted back accordingly.

Next week will see a slew of activities in and out of school: CIP Day, Racial Harmony Day, long-overdue CNY celebrations, Total Defence Day... the last one in particular is what one of my teachers briefly touched on today. The discussion in our class raised a few points, if I remember correctly:
  • We Singaporeans are very prone to taking things for granted, especially for students who are fortunate to be in a top school
  • After years of constant exposure to National Education, youths today are getting desensitised or even becoming cynical against such "propaganda" to instil patriotism (even more so with the loosening of domestic roots against the tide of globalisation)
  • The five pillars of defence are still really applicable today (social, military, psychological, civil, economic), with unnerving emphasis on the second aspect and directed glances at all male students in the class
  • There has to be people who know they have a stake in their homeland, and are willing to defend it at all costs
  • Singaporeans tend to feel more patriotic after being overseas for extended periods of time, knowing how much better our country is in certain aspects
Well at least it went down in a nice sincere way instead of chanting mantras in the form of National Messages, or showing Photoshopped pictures of military personnel looking "cool", or watching cheesy videos depicting Singaporean pride. The discussion let us all know the various reasons for the national pride in some people, or the lack thereof in others. No labelling anybody as cowards or betrayers, or "politically correct" or brainwashed.

The second point was also quite an excitable point of discussion; almost everybody in the class all felt that nowadays the educational measures in NE are becoming less effective. Well of course as we grow older, we tend to need to justify actions with better reasons. Some of us no longer just love Singapore only because our family and peers and teachers tell us to, or because on every National Day Parade we get to see fighter jets, tanks, parachutists, singers and fireworks. We need to have higher stakes in our country.

That doesn't mean NDP is useless though! It's still a good way to flaunt our talents and power to impress our own citizens and strengthen their pride, while reminding other countries nearby to not push the wrong buttons on Singapore. Plus we get lots of coupons from the goodie bag!

I wonder if, when this post comes up, whether I'll be watching the NDP 2012 at the venue itself or in a hotel room nearby or just at home. For all I know I could either be enjoying the spectacular event with family, or cramming for some nearby tests (...which I certainly hope would not happen! Both teachers and students need time off academia-related stuff, right???). 

Oh, Valentine's Day is coming soon. The silly Secret Santas are going to scamper all over the school on that day, delivering "romantic" surprises everywhere. And I thought Cupid was meant to be the ambassador for that occasion...

(Should I prepare a Valentine's Playlist on my blog again??? Hmm...)