Saturday, 12 June 2010

Few days ago (or maybe a week now), there was a column written in the NST about how language and speech is incredibly important.

The author mainly concentrated on the fact that we're now becoming less appreciative of language, and apparently 17 per cent of students in Britain are illiterate.

But he also talked about Malaysia, asking whether our level of competency in languages have improved:

We diverted funds into the sciences and engineering and medicine to fulfil the national need, and then it became fashionable to choose the so-called heavy options as nation after nation churned up more engineers and doctors and oceanographers than deep readers of books. What started as a necessity became a fashion, and the humanities were despised for their lack of practical use in everyday life, and to be seen to be delving in the arts soon became a sign of weakness and people feared that. And soon the fear turned into a dread.

Which I find to be really interesting, because I've always thought that that was the perception of many. To be successful, you need to be a doctor, or an engineer, or something along that path. Soon, those not in the sciences were regarded as unintelligent.

But I guess a lot of this stems from how you define intelligence, and back home, intelligence is defined by how much you know about the world, and how it works, how things in the world works, etc. Yet, my classmates can pounce on a question raised in class as quickly as a science student can answer a scientific question. So doesn't that make them just as smart? I mean, you can't blame it on the different education systems, because at the end of the day, it is still that- sciences and the humanities/ social sciences/ liberal arts.

I do wonder from time to time why did I choose this career path. After being at college I did realise that I had enjoyed studying science, but I never wanted to know about things in too much detail; just a rough idea of how things work, why things happen, etc.

But of course, the most important thing that people say is that you should never look back, so I shall take this advice and not think about it. Right now, I have deadlines to catch!



This is a song that was performed by Jaclyn Victor and Same-Same (don't know who that is!)
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