My ‘Arts Education’ is ruining me

“You can just tell when someone is from the Arts faculty,” a science student commented.

“What do you mean by that?”

“I don’t know. errrrr. I guess you guys are just very opinionated and think very differently?”


Context

Contemporary Singapore society, albeit gradual shifts in perspective, still value a Science/Math education over the Arts– entrenched by State emphasis on the sciences early on its in education reform. This could perhaps account for the number of perplexed faces I’ve witnessed as a result of my telling them that I’m pursuing a degree in arts. “Oh cool. So you can draw very well?” they would respond. Sure… let’s just go with that.  

But for those who actually do realise that I am generally referring to the Humanities and Social Sciences, usually respond with a curious amalgam of incredulity and scepticism. They can’t seem to rationalise the purpose of an Arts education vis-à-vis an actual career trajectory. Follow up questions, along the lines of “What are you planning to do after that?” usually ensue. The general implied consensus is that my degree is of little value– and by extension; my intellect.

Ironically, the Arts faculty is by far the largest in NUS, with an intake of around 1200 undergrads per year. Critics reconcile this paradox by subscribing to the perception that the faculty is a ‘dumping-ground’ for those who could not secure places in science-related faculties (subsuming a considerable population of undergrads, like me, who willingly chose the Arts). Alas, this perpetuates the notion that the Arts kids are just not ‘smart’ enough.

Now that I have established the context within which my education is being perceived by others –although I admit that these are my sole interpretation of general sentiments and are, thus, open to my bias/overstatements– I shall present a non-exhaustive list of reasons as to why my education is ‘ruining’ me.  Continue reading

Community Award: One Lovely Blog

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I would like to sincerely thank charteblanche for nominating me for this blog award. I am really humbled, considering that I have been rather absent on this platform over the past month or so. And also thank you for brightening my day in such a gloomy and stressful period in my life.

Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.

  1. I am an immensely guarded person. This is also the reason why I appear to be highly unapproachable, often deflecting intrusions with humour and sarcasm. Very few people actually know the real ‘me’.
  2. I do not subscribe to labels –and especially dislike the human disposition for binary categorisations. I believe in fluidity.
  3. One of my greatest character flaws is that I can be domineering when working in groups (that hold my interest), which I find to be off-putting myself.
  4. My self-concept is misaligned with reality. How I want to portray myself does not line up with how I am in actuality. Therein lies the greatest contradiction I call ‘myself’.
  5. I love travelling. I have been planning my travels, without worrying about money or my future. Honestly though, I feel that such experiences are far more important than future financial security. Now the problem is,  I can’t seem to find a like-minded individual to go backpacking with.
  6. I like being alone, but I don’t fancy being lonely. I have been alone for a very long time, and that’s how I like it. But there is a very fine line between being alone and being lonely, which I seem to step on occasionally.
  7. “That which we manifest is before us.” –Garth Stein. While I do believe that we are products of our circumstances, I also believe in human agency.

 

I am supposed to nominate a few others for this award. But given my absenteeism, I think it would be rather unfair for me to do so.

The 8th Cardinal Sin: Intolerance

The Daily Post would like me to add on to the list of the 7 Deadly Sins  — another trait or behaviour I find particularly unacceptable.

I initially deliberated between ‘ignorance’ and ‘bigotry’. Then I realised that ignorance doesn’t irrevocably carry a negative connotation – it might even be blissful in certain circumstances. And while I find bigotry to be entirely reprehensible, I wouldn’t want to impinge on the notion of one’s prerogative – you have the right to your opinion, no matter how ludicrous I find it to be. So, I settled for the bare minimum: ‘intolerance’.

What do I mean by bare minimum?

Essentially, you can be a bigot and be tolerant at the same time. I suppose you could refuse to accept alternative viewpoints without superimposing your beliefs unto others. Peaceful –yet divided– coexistence.  Continue reading

traditions of the moon and the sun

if we contemplate the notion of our existential purpose
-one that is to find our soulmate
who was a part of you in your previous incarnations-
then wouldn’t that qualify all other beliefs?

what is to become of our dreams
and our ideals?

what is to become of our efforts
and our actions?

wouldn’t that require of us to be living in the future
rather than the present?

in which case
would that be living at all?

or could it be the very case of
some infinities being larger than other infinities?
and yet
those infinities should not have to be particularly parallel to one another?