humdinger of a blogpost

I think all the world (and school) needs is a little more humour.

Most of us have got it – I’m not even saying the art/technique of humour, or wit, or charm etc. These aren’t available to everyone in equal degrees. I refer to humour as an attitude, as in good humour, which I like to think is easily accessible to everyone, and plentiful – but it’s a real downer when people are worried about unis and scholarships to the extent of being tedious and frankly uncompanionable. It’s bad enough to let such feelings simmer and fester in your consciousness, but it becomes obnoxious when your worries manifest in your conversation as well – when all you can talk about are mugging techniques, applications, personal statements and CVs.

I just wish that we could see our last months in school for just what that means – last months in school. We won’t be learning so much anymore, at least not in a similar style – and maybe as someone too lazy to do most of his readings or much “extra-curricular” (not quite the same as non-curricular) reading, I’m not the most qualified to say idealistic things like these – and I regret that some of us have failed to see the acquisition of knowledge as something other than a means to have something to regurgitate on foolscap in November. Writing essays is of course the main reason why we’re learning so much, but why make yourself miserable by thinking it the ONLY reason? I may sound very politically correct here but I think if one person can get an easy A for Literature in the A levels and yet not relate to Hamlet as more than a “central plot device”, that person is a failure in at least some senses, and possibly in all senses but one (ie. the ability to write critical essays on one specific Shakespearean play).

Besides, I reasoned it out to myself, and I decided I can’t see the point in anyone deluding the teachers into believing that they are someone they are not. An uninspired student who cons his way into Oxford by sycophancy and excessive hard work doesn’t become any more inspired in Oxford, contrary to popular belief; the only thing that has changed is that Oxford now has one more uninspired student than before. Moreover, there’re only so many social strata you can swindle your way into before you find yourself incredibly out of your depth, where even sycophancy proves useless in the light of your abject inadequacy; is it worth so much effort merely to feel inferior all over again?

Maybe I’m saying this because I have annoyingly mediocre essay-writing and exam technique (easily one of my bugbears in JC life, trust me), but I think there should be more to life right now than making sure that a few old gits at Cambridge like your work enough to give it a grade A. I really, really miss the times when we did things purely to do them, or learnt things purely to pacify an insatiable curiosity, and not for someone else’s pleasure. And this is why I only have unqualified admiration for people smarter and more successful than me who genuinely enjoy what they’re doing, and merely a twinge of pity for people smarter and more successful than me who have fussed and toiled only to achieve success defined not on their own terms, but on the terms of society.


10 thoughts on “humdinger of a blogpost

  1. I like this post so, so, so so much and I completely agree, and yes perhaps it is partly motivated by my annoyance at having ‘annoyingly mediocre essay-writing and exam technique’.

    though I think the reason why we view success in societal terms is because… a lot of us haven’t had time to figure out what WE want, so used are we to blindly following the route neatly set out for us.

    it’s the default template/path for people who haven’t figured out their own individual unique paths. I sure haven’t, and I’m heading off to I-don’t-know-where to study I-don’t-know-what which I don’t even know will be useful or rewarding for me… this should scare me but somehow I’m just apathetic :x

    • “a lot of us haven’t had time to figure out what WE want, so used are we to blindly following the route neatly set out for us.”


      i like this post too, except i confess i’m guilty of being part of the said group of tedious and uncompanionable people :S

  2. Mmm. Victims of society.

    I has mediocre exam skills too ):

    It’s irritating how some essay is going to affect your future so much, even though you probably won’t need to write essays anymore.

    All I want to do is bake ):

  3. zim: heeh why the recent fixation with baking? i do some baking occasionally too but i’m much lazier than you :D (and anw you should be studying zhiming my friend)

    sam: no i don’t see it and yes thx for your highly empathetic comment! i really need to return you the Cyril Collection, it’s 41 days to prelims and i can’t con myself into believing i’ll read them someday T_T i’m not too big on poetry sorry~

    choonie: how weird that when you commented i was browsing your blog :D you can see uh random pairs of oppositely-sexed people in deserted humanz classrooms :S

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