Monday, February 26, 2007

Frankly My Dear...

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Please don't say you've never heard of the above. Please don't say it doesn't even ring a bell! It is such a classic that I am shocked, aghast, utterly incredulous, when I found out that nobody in my class remotely know it. And have they heard of Scarlett O'Hara? Nope. Rhett Butler? Definitely not.

Some weeks ago, someone in my class asked me what the Fibonacci Sequence is all about. I wouldn't raise half a brow at that question, if the famous Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was never published (or if it hadn't been half as a hit as it is...). But given all the hype following the book and the movie, and the mention of the said sequence in them, I just had to be speechless for 15 seconds. And upon questioning, I found out only 1 person in the whole class had actually read the book.

"I can resist anything but temptation" (If you've never heard of the first one, lagi you wouldn't have heard of this...)

Boys and girls, read more, ok?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Very Angry Very Angry

It's the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year and I got pissed off BIG TIME by the kids in class! I was lecturing and a friend of one of them simply walked up to the classroom door, opened it and stuck his head in without so much as a knock! And the guy that fella was looking for (sitting at the second last row in class) simply walked out to settle his whatever business with his friend without so much as a glance at his lecturer, who still happened to be talking, in mid-sentence.

I told them off nicely about the kind of sense and attitude and lack of respect and manners that was displayed. When the rude guy came back in after his tete-a-tete with his rude friend, I told him off personally and warned him never to let that happen again. Instead of offering an apology, that fella had the cheek to show me his dissatisfaction by rolling his eyes around and turning his face black. I soooo wanted to tell him to "wipe that nasty look off your face" or else get out, but weighed that out against the alternative of just getting the lesson finished and done with, and dismissing the whole lot of them.

What are they teaching the kids in their moral classes in school? What are parents doing, not teaching their kids basic manners and respect for elders? What is wrong with the kids these days? *pengsan*

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lovers' Special


Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love it is a hunger an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower and you it's only seed

It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dyingthat never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long

and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow
lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Learning & Teaching Styles

After all these years, I've observed that all students learn in a finite number of styles. For instance, if they are faced with a problem they are unable to solve, they will resort to any one of the following ways:

1. Stare at it -> If you stare at the problem long enough without doing anything, a miracle may happen (i.e. your teacher walks by, takes pity on you and solves it for you)

2. Cry SOS -> Why waste time waiting for a miracle to happen? Take initiative to summon the miracle (i.e. ask your teacher outright to solve your problem!)

3. Blind Trial, Blind Error -> Does not require any thinking. Just change every possibly changeable variable / parameter. In theory, brute force trying will get the problem solved ... eventually.

4. Blind leads Blind -> Get a friend sitting next to you to help you with your problem. He, who undoubtedly has his own unsolved problems, will nevertheless help you most willingly.

5. Manual Scan -> Compare your problematic work against the examples given in the notes ... line by line if you have to. Surely you can see the difference that is the problem!

6. Brain in Use -> Analyse the problem. Take some time to think about it and the cause of it, and then formulate the solution (since most of them have heibi brains, only about 5% of all students choose this style)

There are only 3 generally accepted teaching styles - small, medium and large - i.e. the size of pails to bring to class to hold the blood you'll vomit during the teaching process. (Exception: a small percentage of teachers may require XL-sized pails)