Thursday, March 5, 2009

I hope it ends fast

I hope the police can reveal what happens in the stabbing fast. There is far too much speculation going on that would do more harm than good. Undeniably, there has been lots of pressure into the scholars to produce good results at all time. I understand clearly their pain because I was one myself. However, part of the problem lies on the scholars themselves. By subjecting themselves to the scholarship, they have taken part in adding the pressure into themselves, knowingly or unknowingly. Self-expectation, parents' expectation, peer pressure and the benefactor's expectation is a deadly mixture of pressure that can easily culminate in a sad incident.

Take this analogy:
Studying hard and enjoying the good result is like developing a cocoon that protects the scholars. Once a wrong turn is taken, the cocoon has a hole exposing the weak developing pupa to the harsh world. Unless the pupa manages to close the hole, heaven knows what will happen to the pupa. But the pupa should have known at the beginning that by doing the cocoon, he is subjecting himself to a vulnerability.

It's a two-two relationship, that of the benefactor and the scholars. Both have their own motives. None is at fault.

What should really be done is to encourage communication. Although the online world opens up possibility of many connecting virtual friends, visible friends are those that can save the day. One in the net can't reach his hand to pull his friend out of a mud, although after multiple connections, the virtual friend can reach a visible friend to help which hopefully by then won't be too late.

A buddy system and network should be implemented. Sadly, the tutor system in NTU never works. I can tell honestly that I've not seen my tutor more than the first time ever when he was supposed to see me. After all, if the lecturers are pressured into producing research, how can they spend time to teach and mentor? The university nowadays are putting themselves into the shoes of research institute and have neglected the holy duty of teaching. I've seen a number of my old lecturers, capable of teaching well, being asked to become "teaching fellow" and get their teaching duty decreased with a lot lower pay. The saving then spent for young and brilliant researchers who speak bad english and zero teaching skill but with extremely good journals. Who can blame the university if the world measures the rank of universities by research (just look at Times).

This incident should be a good wake up call for the university to re look their priority and the scholars to think about what they are really doing.

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