[portfolio: vamos.com.sg email: foocheechang@gmail.com phone: +65 9622 9024 twitter: foocheechang]

a sigh of relief

i had almost forgotten that feeling – the numbness in the hand associated with writing too hard and at a feverish pace, trying to beat the clock, the problem compounded by the cold in the hall. i wish i could say that it seems like only yesterday when i had to contend with three hour history and literature essays, but my sore arm speaks otherwise. my memory is getting rusty too. everything that is not maintained eventually loses its edge. 2 years of vacuum in one’s life really sucks – in every sense of the word.

i am just reliefed that the hardest part of the exams is over. in fact, i am almost in the mood for relaxation. but as the saying goes, there is just one more hurdle – in this case not descending into complacence and sustaining focus for the task at hand. never in my life have i felt so stressed up over some bloody tests. maybe the warning that if you screw up your education, it’s curtains down for you (the same one i used to scare my students with when i was teaching at BBSS), is finally sinking in after all these years. of course there are stories that prove otherwise, but i have to admit that i attach great value to education, not only as stepping stones to greater things, but also as the instrument that exposes and enriches.

as an afterthought, i want to say that i don’t really agree with the format of the exams, especially since quite a substantial portion of the overall score is allocated to them. at this level, what good does memorising and regurgitating facts do? educators can argue all they want about how this is a means to assess the cognitive abilities, in this case that of memory and comprehension and arguably application (though wrestling with a few sheets of paper isn’t exactly very enlightening). thing is, university students have already proven themselves by the virtue (for lack of a better word) that they are university students (unless your parents made considerable donations to the school) and have gone through that routine time and time before. shouldn’t more of the focus be based on application in the form of projects that are grounded and assessed in the real world? the university seeks to prepare individuals for the working world, one that is highly competitive. Valued traits in today’s world include creativity and adaptability, and no one is getting anyway even if he can memorise encyclopedias, especially since information is so widely and easily available in this age.

for more on my college life, click here.


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