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Wednesday, August 24, 2005
 
An Anecdote

I am downloading Fedora Core 4 in school right now at an average speed of about 360KB/s.

This. Is. So. Awesome.

Woohoo! I am so psyched about giving it a spin later!




Quite often, I am asked by people of my acquaintance about why I am such an asshole, why I slack so much and other questions along similar lines. Well, I shall now tell all of you a story about something that happened to me in the past that may have helped to colour my attitudes towards life and people in general.

Once, when I was in primary school, I was tasked with coming up with a duty roster for the class. See, my class always had a duty roster to decide who gets to clean the chalk board for the teachers and who gets to sweep the floor and such. After the usual round of grumbling and why-me's, I got down to it.

Filled with absurd notions of fairness, equality and selfless sacrifice in those days, I decided that everyone had to have exactly the same number of duty days. What I did was to divide the number of days in the semester excluding weekends and public holidays by the number of students in my class. I noted that the result of the division had a remainder, so I assigned the remainder of days to myself, because I was just that nice a guy at that time.

In the end, what I came up with was a calender, one vanguard sheet for each month, that would be pinned up on the notice board. Each day was represented by a box with its date inside, along with the name of the person who would be on duty on that day. I spent the better part of a day doing those 5 or 6 sheets of paper, and when I finished it, I was proud of myself. It was elegant. It was beautiful. More importantly, it was mathematically precise and thus fair to everyone except myself, the willing sacrifice for the class. I went to school early in the morning the next day and proudly pinned up the roster for that month, to sort of give the teacher and the class a pleasant surprise.

Needless to say, the fruits of my labour were never used.

When class started and my form teacher saw it, she asked me what it was. I replied that it was the duty roster, and she told me to explain how it "worked". On hindsight, I should have realised something was wrong in that moment, but being young and sort of innocent at the time, I proudly explained. Then, she told me to explain to the class and so I did. There was much exchanging of glances and scratching of heads after I did. My teacher shook her head and perfunctorily thanked me for my efforts. Then, she got another student to do a "proper" roster, earning me a black look from the luckless substitute.

What the bugger came up with was one piece of vanguard paper with two slots into which cards containing the names of the students could be slotted. Something like this.



Yes, and when this was put up on the board, that student (I don't even remember who the bugger was) got a "good work" from the teacher. Seriously, what the fuck? There was already a similar "roster" on the board before! What was the point of making a new one if it performed exactly the same function as the old one?

Now, this may be just a child's story, but I think we can all learn some lessons from it, or at least, I did. Since I'm such a generous fucker, here's what I learnt from this episode.

Lesson #1: I am different
Yes, I am different from most people. If you ask me to solve a problem and there is more than one way to do it, my solution is apt to be different from those of most other people. Bear in mind I was only 11 or so at the time of this story. Who comes up with that sort of shit at that age?

Lesson #2: Teachers aren't necessarily smart
As the saying goes: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Especially primary school teachers. What the fuck was so difficult to understand about a calendar with fucking names for every day? Despite what the fucking ads tell you about making a difference, most teachers are in it because they have no other choice. I have quite a few friends who are teachers simply because they could not find other jobs. Making a difference? We are a generation of morons taught by idiots. The only difference this is going to make is likely to be bad for the continued evolution of humanity at large.

Lesson #3: Precision and accuracy are wasted on most people
Yes, most people don't care about having sophisticated and accurate tools unless said tool's user interface is in bright colours and has dead plants and shite drawn all over it. This also explains why Windows is more popular than *nix.

Lesson #4: If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
Oh wait, wrong anecdote. Scratch that.

Lesson #5: Do the barest minimum
It's not about expecting rewards. I mean, I was perfectly willing to do more duties than the rest of the class for no extra credits or anything. What made me really sore was that my solution was dismissed and not used, while some crummy piece of shit with a dumb smiling sun drawn on it was used instead. I'll be the first to admit that what I came up with was not much to look at, but seriously, way more thought and work went into it than what was eventually used.

In conclusion, I am an asshole because most people do not deserve me being nice to them. I am a slacker partially because while I do not mind doing more and not being appreciated for it, I do mind wasting my efforts making something that may never be used. Also, I am a lazy fucker.

Oh, and by the way, readers. Being different doesn't necessarily mean that you will get along with other people who are weird. There are many different kinds of weirdness and, as I am fond of saying, just because no one understands you, doesn't mean you're a genius. I only like smart weirdos, ok? So don't come over all buddy buddy with me after reading this post. If we've spoken and I'm not already friendly with you, I probably do not like you, fuck off.
 
Comments:
Haha...that's the conformist education system we have in singapore....it's sad but true...

I have lecturers telling to take the middle path akin the safe secure path when arguing my point.. To hell with that..

Right from kidergarden...we are schooled this way..that there is only one solution to a problem...

Though there are many paths
At the foot of the mountain
All those who reach the top
See the same moon.
 
That's a very nice way to be put, subtle yet direct.

No one claims that to be a genius, It's just the impression you give others, no matter you want it or not.

Explaining much of who you are will make things more complicated.

I can take any comment made but not to heart. This is just a freaking Internet.

Point Taken. Out for now.
 
Lesson #2 applies especially well to Secondary School teachers.
Especially those who go by 'Read The Textbook!' as their motto.

lupin tan:
A mish-mash of inchorenecy, A wise man do not make.
That is all.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Sorry darth, what's inchorenecy, pls enlighten me.

Maybe I really a retard.
 
I've had my fair share of run-ins with teachers and classmates too...
In fact, I don't get along well with most of them.
I've always suspected that's the curse of having a superior intellect. We can never find a common ground with them.

Deviants of the world unite.
 
Thats what GEP is for.

Unfortunately, most geniuses, by the time they reach the streaming level, have already had their dreams and ideals crushed.
 
"We are a generation of morons taught by idiots."

Heh. Damn straight. But surely, if one doesn't want to excel inside the education system, one can excel outside the system. Though there's no guarantee of success or recognition. Though if you succeed, you'll have all the fuckers coming to suck up to you and lick your butthole.
 
Maybe it's because the smartest people, quite honestly, do not go to NIE and become teachers.

Those who have true passion for learning and exploring new depths of knowledge would have gone on to become doctors, scientists, professors in unis.. It's quite a pity that primary school teachers get paid the least of all the teachers, when they have the most impact on a child's love for learning.
 
dude, it could have been worse. at sec 1, i was chastised in front of my class and described in the words of my puritanical form teacher as the 'devil incarnate which the devil sent to corrupt' my classmates. all because i brought a cyberspace joke book with lewd jokes to class. teachers could either be the greatest source of inspiration or the biggest detractors in shaping ppl's lives.
 
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