Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas



April 6, 2013

We're Having Fun -- The Competitions

We are having fun despite the numerous competitions. Conventional wisdom has it that when you are small, you choose what others can but will not do, and when your have grown big, you do what others cannot do. We are blurred about what others will or will not do. We are only clear that so many teams can easily do whatever we are planning to do. Encouraging?

We think so and we are having fun, right now.

A few 4 or 5 years back, I met a skinny, nerd-looking kid browsing the Computer book shelves in the Jurong East library, holding a big red book (Wrox Professional series) on PHP in his chest. I chatted up with him and learned that he's been doing some programming for his CCA, sort of hobby/club-like thing in primary and secondary schools in Singapore. Since then, I cannot count how many school kids I've seen with iPad programming,  iPhone programming, C, C++, Java, javascript, HTML5, Python etc.

A few 4 or 5 years back, I read in the newspapers about an app that an ITE team had done to win a competition. That app integrated so many different mobile technologies! To give a big picture for those outside Singapore, the pecking order of Education here in Singapore is like:

secondary schools -> ITE -> junior college or polytechnic --> university and so on
secondary schools ----------> junior college or polytechnic --> university and so on

The kids are a lot savvier than me about tech!!!

The same holds true for kids in Myanmar! Malaysia! Vietnam! Indonesia! Huh ...

They can easily do whatever we are planning to do. Encouraging?

Let's Consider Another "Friendlier" Competition


My son's English seems a lot better than mine in many aspects. He's a funny kid with interest in lots of things --- time machine, time travels included. His dad, I am funny in my own ways and with my own funny interests --- thought experiments included.

So let's put my son in our English major honors class about 20 years back. 20 years back, my English must have been really poor, my "cultural deficit"(one of our teachers' remark on my lack of knowledge about English songs and movies!) was about 99.99%, listening and speaking may be about 25% and so on.

So, what will be his total scores? I am a bit harsh, I gave him F+p9.

Our teachers, Professor Daw EJ Kangyi,  , Professor U Han Tin, , Professor U Thi Ha, Professor Daw Khin Lay Myint, and other lecturers are all noted for their "generosity of spirit". Still with their personal and professional integrity, they wouldn't give him more than F+p3 or F+p5.

"F+p5" means "Fail but with potential to pass in 5 years' time."

His English is good. But he won't understand why Othello was so prone to jealousy, why Mrs Bennett was so eager to marry off her girls to rich gents, why Milton lost and regained paradise, how so easily Mark Antony could turn a population against Caesar's assassins, why Lamb dreamed of "Dream Children," why langauge policy cannot be decided with Chomsky and Halliday and science alone, and so on.

In techno field too, we have apps to sort one's necktie collection, games where one tries to unroll a toilet roll faster than another player, apps which help you count how many pets you have and so on.

Just last month, we read in Harvard Business Review about Big Bang Disruption. Hey, this is in HBR, written and vetted mostly by business profs.

Are such disruptions so fast and furious?

At least Peter Drucker, Steve Jobs, and Amazon disagree. According to these bumpkins and simpletons and ignoramus, we have about 20 to 30 to wait till such disruptions catch up with us!

So, we are having fun. If we chose, we could even wait. We won't wait though ;-)

Even primary kids can do what we do better than us. To feel it really, take a foreign language class, and see that all native pree-teens and early teens talk far better than you do. But don't stretch your conversational topics beyond Girls Generation, Psy, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Halo, Crysis, Transformers etc. 

Mastery of a language means a lot more than fluency. Are all English men and women and girls and boys Shakespeare or Jane Austen or Arthur Conan Doyle or Bernard Shaw?

You get it now.

So, we are having fun.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 01, 2013

    It's very hard to know oneself = to be aware at critical times and to be honest to oneself.

    If you can do it, you achieve almost whatever results you desire, because your approach becomes so natural and so simple.

    ReplyDelete