Strange as it may sound, I never quite wanted to fully believe the above statement. After all, I count many among my friends who absolutely do not fit that description. Could I ever say that the rational and prudent Norman was without common sense? Or perhaps label the eloquent Vernon and well-read Yang "illiterate"? Nay, it would be impossible, even though all were born and bred in this country.
Let live and learn, they say, and every day in every way, I discover that Singaporeans are indeed capable of performing feats of astounding ignorance and displaying a shocking lack of manners.
Take my new class of this term for example. Every day spent in class causes me great distress. The students are shamelessly arrogant about their stunning degrees of ignorance. This not only exasperates, but have, on many occasions, infuriated me. Who would've thought anyone would consider illiteracy a badge of distinction; or uncouth manners typical behaviour of teenagers? Apparently, this lot does.
Now, I know I cannot make sweeping generalisations, and admittedly, there are some students are worthy of respect and admiration (you know who you are).
I am accustomed to answering questions, but over the course of two weeks, I have been pummeled with questions ranging from the provocative to the bizarre. The ruffians may not notice it, but I am very much insulted when one would rather question my choice of graphics over the subtler points of my presentation.
Muttering snide comments whenever I am speaking to the class about a supposedly esoteric term is a good indicator of a desire to remain dumb and ill-educated. Derisively sarcastic comments are best said when one has a purpose and wicked sense of humour. Anything less comes off as nothing more than a juvenile insult. Sadly, it is often the latter that I hear uttered.
Media/art students are expected to know terms like "socialist realism" and "golden ratio" - well, perhaps not understanding them fully, but at least having heard of them before. I am not excessively educated in the arcane arts when I know. It is no fault of mine when people choose to be stupid.
One more thing. While being illiterate and uncouth might sound good in the world they reside, but I live in a little place called reality. I am against asking silly questions about demeanour and public speaking skills and deploying ad hominem attacks but maybe that's just me and my silly sense of professional courtesy.
Here endeth today's rant.