Our Contradictions

1 10 2013

I am starting to find the world a much bigger contradiction that I originally thought and I honestly believe university is corrupting me.

I should explain.

Higher education is one of the most confusing chapters in my life so far that I have had to face with. As a freshman, I believed that by entering college I would gain the knowledge I needed to accomplish two ultimate goals: a) to live life fully and b) to change the world.

Unfortunately, I am no longer that naive freshman. I have come to realize that life is filled with contradictions and there is really no way to have your cake and eat it too.

You see, I am starting to get the notion that you can’t ‘live life to the fullest’ ( or YOLO* or whatever) and change the world at the same time. They are contradicting. I suppose if you set the parameters for the argument then you can say that in order to live your life to the fullest and change the world at the same time, you must set a goal for yourself. Then we come to the complicated idea of a ‘goal’.

In theory, having a goal is not all that complex a concept. You set a goal, take the necessary actions to achieve it, review it over time and set your goals again. For example, let’s say you wanted to step on the moon, you would study physics ( I’m assuming), get physically fit, apply to a space program so that you can be an astronaut and semi-gravity defying steps on the moon. Fairly simple concept.

However, the problem with people is that they have more than one goal and it gets even complicated when these goals contradict. What if I like to surf and I wanted to save the whales but the only way for me to ensure the whales safety in a specific bay, I would need to stop surfing. It may appear like a trivial matter but humans ( us) take our goals and passions seriously. We form emotional attachments to them and there lies the conflict. Our emotional attachments get in the way of us doing what we want in life. Things get more complicated when everyone in the world wants to take action to achieve their own goals.

Some may say these contradictions make life interesting. Sure, it does but it doesn’t mean life is any less confusing. Can we achieve everything we want without contradicting the different outcomes of the goals or the values we hold?

May be I’m thinking too much.

May be I’m being too ambitious.

I hope you find the conflicts in your life and effectively untangle them. Try. Be innovative. Be conscious and be aware.

* I really hate the term YOLO but I am putting it in for cultural reference



1 04 2011

Dear world,

Has anyone read The Straits Times? Apparently there will be a Yale-Nus collaboration here in Singapore, where liberal arts will the the main focus of the new campus. Not a bad idea right?

However, several Yale professors believe that this collaboration comprimises Yale’s values and beliefs. The main Yale campus is situated in the United States which has a more liberal approach to freedom of expression as compared to Singapore. This does not restrict the U.S  campus from educating students in an open environment. However, how will the same courses function in a completely different social context?

Well, I am not too sure. Surely not many simillar issues can be discussed or questioned as openly in Singapore as compared to the U.S. that is for sure. Liberal arts is suppose to give students a more in depth view of the world, and have many prespectives, which benefits students. Singapore also becomes a hub for education in which internation students may flock to Singapore just to persure a Yale-NUS education. Asian will eventually benefit. As this campus becomes bigger and more popular, cohorts will grow bigger over the years and the labour force will be more open to internation events.

However, is Yale on the losing end? They gain a partner when venturing into Asian teritory. They encourage more students in Asia to persue a liberal arts course. They may (or may not) be influencing the future of Asia in the economic world. But now are their beliefs really comprimise?

It may seem this way. Singapore is relatively more conservative than U.S.A. (sociology students would get upset by this statement). Thinking is slightly different, breaking our ideologies may be a challenge. However, I do not completely undertand why Yale would be disadvantaged by this. Call me biased but wouldn’t we( the asians) be disadvanged. By my understanding, some of the Yale professors have willingly agreed to teach in the new campus. What if some of their ideologies clash with the ones students have? Possible conflict may be. I doubt so. May be a heated debate. Professors are there to help with simulation of the brain. Not give answers.

I think if they offer a theatre course, I will like to apply.

UK increase in uni fees

10 12 2010

Dear world,
If you do not know, I am not a UK citizen and hence will not be complaining about the increase in university fees in the UK.( international students would still pay full fees… That’s if I was going to UK. But I’m not)
So you do not need click the X on your browser. No complaints about the UK parliament here.
But I was on twitter and I searches ‘university fees’ and everyone spammed the same few messages, asking the same few questions, had plans to walk out on classes on Wednesday at 11am local time etc etc.
I would like to politely inform all the UK students that I feel frustrated as well, but not for the same reason they feel frustrated.
You may think ‘you will never be a UK citizen so you don’t understand ‘ but hear me out.
I may not understand, yes, because even subsidized tuition fees here are rather high ( higher then UK anyways) and £9000 may seem like a reasonably cheap price to pay for an education in university and I still stand by the fact that it still is considerably cheap to get a degree. Slightly over $10000 Singapore dollars if my maths is accurate. (Singapore dollar is strong now, so this might increase in coming months).
I am also trying to understand the UK system alil bit more. Most of the tuition fees are tax payer’s money and in fact most things in UK are paid with tax ( if my sources are accurate). I am not condemning this system but I do not entirely agree with it (neutral stand, don’t want to interfere too much with politics) but I think, there are always two sides to this story.
The students strongly strongly believe in their right of an education, and I will not deny them that right. But a free education in a materialistic world? Nothing in a materialistic world is free. It either has been already paid for or is highly subsidized. but yes, education is very important and you have your right to one. But there is this arguement that came across BBC news and twitter post. One girl on BBC that was interviewed or made a comment or something, well, she said my parents had a free university education, they should be paying the taxes for mine ( trying to remember this from memory) and someon on twitter commented that scottland had free education, why should the UK students have to pay.
I am sorry, no matter how much I try and remember the girl, I keep thinking it was a void argument. it made no real sense. As for the second one, well, that is life for you. If that is the cast I should be arguing that my education should be free too. Most Singapore students do take Cambridge exams.
And well, the government has to do this, to an extent. With the financial crisis several months ago that still affected several countries, the government must make more money than it gives to the people before becoming bankrupt. Then students really will have something to protest about.
Well people feel social injustice, they do not sit back and think. They are just filled with emotion. That was why the protests ended up being violent.
Hope UK hangs in there.

Does Complex equal simple?

24 11 2010

Dear World,

Watch this video first please!

Complex does not equal to complicated.

Interesting concept. I also liked how he explained everything in three minutes and 28 seconds.

I, personally like complex ideas and situations because then I can take the time to solve them and have some fun, (yeah…I know I might be weird!). But you need to understand. Complex situations just means there is a lot of mess behind the actual problem.  Everything is just very simple. People just make a mess of simple things, making them complicated and visually complex.

Note: VISUALLY COMPLEX! Re-watch the video if you must. He had this mind map stuff or atom like stuff and he made them smaller or more condense and precise. You could understand how to solve the problem.

It makes very good sense if you think about it. I just thought I share it with you. 🙂

Those who can’t teach review

21 05 2010

Originally staged in 1990, Director Alvin Tan and Playwirght Haresh Sharma returned to reinvent and revamp the play into a comtemporary classic. The Play revloves around a particular teacher’s experiences and branches out to her fellow educators, her students her personal life and the personal lives of those around her. Various Themes were explored such as Teacher-Parent relationships, self-discovery, the need to fit in and the idea of elitism among both teachers, students and the entire education system.
The orriginal set was of a staff room. There were elevated platforms from centre stage right all the way to center stage left and down stage left which elevated the tables and chairs in the respective areas. Down stage centre there was a long table as well. Along the cyclorama, lifted about 2 meters of the ground were white sign boards with a few of them suggesting what the education system is all about. Along the play, there were several set changes, platforms were rolled out and replaced with other platforms with other types of furniture like sofa’s or louge chair to suggest a change in scene. Most scene changes were shown through these set changes. Lighting and sound played more major parts when required, for example a purple light was used to indicated that Mrs Phua was dreaming about teaching in an elite school and having perfect students or when prom came about or Ms Hana’s wedding was being performed.

As for acting, there is no way to really compare anything. Everyone had strong characterisation considering 4 out of the 5 cast members played multiple roles, everyone had a strong pressence on stage and each showed how their respective characters transitioned. It is something I think I can take back, having a strong transition and showing how my character develops over time. The one person who had suffient amount of ‘airtime’ to show this was Ian Tan’s character, Tek Liang. His character transitioned from a smart bad boy to a smart boy without his original girlfriend and feeling empty inside. His greatest transition was in Act 2 where the signboards along the cyclorama suggested how the education system may not be suitable or there was a lack of education for some students.

If there was a lesson- a life lesson- that I learnt by watching this performance was when Jali got his O level results in Act 1 and his teacher, Mrs Phua says that he should resit the O levels after failing and one day her will return and thank her and all his teacher and later in Act 2 about 15 years later, he comes back to see his teacher, Mrs Phua and explains that he did take the O levels again and failed…again and he went on to to several jobs that fit his qualifications, showing how the education system and exams may not be the way to be considered successful. And it is sad that there are people no matter how much they believe in themselves and work hard.

talents are yours

17 03 2010

Hey world,

so I am currently in Tampines Junior College and if any JC students are wondering what my combination is, it’s H2 chem, math and theatre studies and H1 bio. To the rest of the world that didnt understand the above combination just know that I take Theatre studies (TS).

My College has ‘ asked’  everyone to purchase the book ” the 7 habits of highly effective teens’  by sean covey.

They have also ‘ asked’  us to read it. Now, I am reading it for some hope that it will help me in some way in my life.

After reading through the first …oh….30 pages or so, it has.

This morning before drama cca ( not TS lesson) I was reading a page on finding and developing your talents. Now ladies and gentleman, if you recall in my secondary school days, I was indirectly told that I could not act ( but I am not that stupid to believe a word the person said). I love acting. I love the stage. However in 2008 I tried my hand at co-directing a school play and even directing the passion play in my church for the year 2009.

I loved it. it was fun. To an extent, even more fun than acting.

So after reading that section, it made me think ‘ Do I really want to be a cast member for this year’s Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) Competition?’ Now we have the option of becoming a crew member.

So this morning I swapped. And I came back early. giving my mother a shock. She didn’t take the news….as well as I thought she would. I will admit that I originally wanted to be crew and one rehearsal, the instructor pointed to me and said you’ll be the boss! I was in cast.  I kept thinking of changing and even my friend said he wanted to switch from cast to crew so we did it together this morning.

I felt kinda happy and like this burden was lifted off me. I know there is an acting component in TS and I know I will have to act but I wanted to oppertunity to explore other areas. I will improve my acting to the best of my abilities. However I dont want to deny my chance of exploring other possibilities and other areas .

I think it will be fun.

I hope everyone finds and develops a talent. ANY TALENT.

just as long as you are happy, I am happy

The scary adult world awaits….

26 01 2010

Hey….fast and enhanced adult world.

I am Cheyenne. I am 16 and I am SCARED AS HELL.

There are many reasons to why I am scared as hell. Firstly, my school posting results are out in about 10.25 hours from now. That would be 8am on the 27th of January Singapore local time that the Ministry of Education releases the posting results. I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN GET INTO THE SCHOOL(S) OF MY CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!! Secondly, I have another fear concerning the school(s) of my choice. You see, I am eligible to enter a Junior College( JC) where it is compulsory for me to take Malay as a subject. If you haven’t been following my blog, or if I have yet to mention it then I will mention it now. I SUCK AT MY MOTHER TONGUE! Finally my mum told me I might not be able to study in an overseas university because we might not afford it.

NOW I AM SCARED AS HELL. I want to cry so much. Not that I hate Singapore Universities. I just really want to get out of this country. Plus there are universities that offer me better Drama or Marine Biology courses. I am currently looking at scholarships. I AM 16 AND I AM LOOKING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!!!!!

There are other options. I am looking for a part time job. I am scared to death as it is and I don’t mind tutoring little kids to help fund my college courses. I don’t want to commit to a job just yet. I don’t know what my timetable is like until I enter a school (which I hope is soon).

I feel like a kid living in an adult world. My parents tell me don’t grow up too fast but the fact of the matter is that I have to. I can’t survive in this world without ‘ growing up fast’ . The harsh reality is hitting me hard, and I am not even facing the worst of it yet. I should have taken up a job.

I think when I am all settled, I’ll apply to a tuition center.

I am a kid living in an adult world. I wanted to grow up fast. I wanted to be free and I wanted to be extremely adult. Now I wish time would stop. Just for me. I don’t want to grow up any more.

I am scared for what the world will bring to me.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t turn 16…..

Lots of luck,