Thursday, September 22, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

Extolling the Virtues of the Singapore Education System. (Or, at least the system I was put through...) 

I was really really really bored in Hearing Science today. That coupled with the fact that I had just bought a half-price set of colouring pencils (Staedtler Ergosoft, set of six, in case you were wondering) and the results are on the left.

The reason I was so bored was because the prof was going over the properties of log (log10, to be precise) and how to derive values for various logs if you just memorize a few log values. That should take 15minutes to cover in class. It took instead a solid half hour. Confident that the class had grasped the concept of the logarithmic scale, he then moved on to an equation (to calculate decibels from either intensity or pressure). If the class understood how log worked, then comprehending the pair of equations (they were really the same equation...) should have been just a hop skip jump away. It wasn't. The rest of the class (another half hour) was spent by the prof fielding questions from people who just couldn't wrap their heads around it.

Having gone through the Singapore school system, I was whispering (in Mandarin no less!) disbelieving comments to the Chinese national beside me. After a while there is only so much you can say, so we just started preempting the prof's responses. Under our breath, of course, we didn't want to seem snooty.

Having doodled a little in Hearing Science, I wanted to continue in my next class, so I did. Acquisition of Phonology is actually a really interesting class. However, there is little notetaking to be done on account of the fact that the Powerpoint slides are available on the course website. Usually, the notes that I take in that class involve adding to the material already available to us. Today, either there wasn't that much supplementary material in class or I just wasn't paying enough attention. Either way, the study skills that I acquired and honed after having been put through the mill in Singapore will help me salvage anything I've missed.


posted by Joie! at 7:17 PM

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