Latest TODAY column: Part-time JC 'Lecherer'
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of conducting a little talk at Pioneer Junior College's (PJC) General Paper Seminar. The seminar, which all Year Twos had to attend, was entitled, Of Sacred Cows and OB Markers.
The seminar sought to explore whether "the dysfunctional and the unconventional" have a place in our society and if Singapore can indeed aspire to be more open and tolerant.
And of course, when it comes to the dysfunctional, I was a natural choice. Up there with the manglers of National Songs (We are Chin Kang Kor sung to the tune of We are Singapore, etc).
I agreed to do a session because I was drawn to this idea of moulding 138 young minds and shaping the future of Singapore. It was also a great way of adding additional readership to my site and column by making it "homework".
Part-time JC 'Lecherer'
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of conducting a little talk at Pioneer Junior College’s General Paper Seminar. The seminar, which all Year Twos had to attend, was entitled “Of Sacred Cows and OB Markers”.
The seminar sought to explore whether “the dysfunctional and the unconventional, in ideas, attitudes or behaviour, have a place in our society and whether Singapore, its people and government, can indeed aspire to be more open and tolerant.”
And of course, when it comes to dysfunctional, I was a natural choice. Up there with the manglers of National Songs (“We are Chin Kang Kor” sung to the tune of “We are Singapore” etc).
I agreed to do a session because I was drawn to this idea of molding 138 young minds and shaping the future of Singapore. It was also a great way of adding additional readership to my site and column by making it “homework”. After all, when I was writing my irreverent (not I say one, ah, a minister say one) stuff online, eight years ago, these 18-year-olds were still in Primary Four. Time to educate a whole new generation.
I even took personal leave to be there. However, my colleagues got suspicious when I told them I was taking leave on Wednesday, because my wedding anniversary fell on the day before that, and they asked, “You take leave ah? Why? Are you expecting to be so tired out? Wink wink.”
My drive to the school was fraught with adventure. For one thing, the school was located in a somewhat far place, near Woodlands. And for a North-Eastern dweller like me, that was in the ulu, er, very happening, North. I even topped up the petrol in my car, in case I missed a turning, and ended up at the Causeway without a 3/4 tank.
To be sure, I checked my Street Directory, 2002 edition (I know, I am a cheapskate who should have bought a new one), and the directory showed the JC to be in Jurong, out west. Puzzled, I called a friend in the office, and he did a check online, and confirmed it was in Jurong.
Later I found out that he got the address off the Ministry of Education’s website, in the section for PJC, in the section for the Media Library. The first page of the MOE PJC site had the correct address, but using Google led him to the school’s Media Library webpage with the un-updated address.
The kind teacher who invited me, Miss Lin, called me (she probably suspected I’d be lost), and gave me the correct directions (Teck Whye, near Woodlands), and I ended up on a merry tour of Singapore, from the West to the North. I saw parts of Singapore I never even knew existed.
When I reached the spanking new premises (new must always say spanking), I was already a little dazed from the driving adventure and proceeded to park in the nearest lot. Then I realized that I was parking between a handicapped lot and the Principal’s reserved lot, and quickly moved to another lot. It would have been embarrassing to be wheel-clamped when you are a Guest Speaker at the school.
I caught parts of the keynote speaker Warren Fernandez’s speech and the Q&A after. One of the students came out and said that his friend asked him to ask a question on his behalf. So brave, his friend.
During the keynote part, I sat in an empty seat with the students, and two of them asked for my autograph, which was flattering. If I had known I would meet so many fans, I would have brought my glamour shots photos (soft-focus, look thinner, Photoshopped skin) and given those instead.
We had a lively 1-hour session in LT2. The students were smart and fun (and no one taupoked me).
Although, while I was setting up my equipment, I overheard one of the early attendees tell his classmate he wanted to sit behind the hall, so that he could sleep. “I heard that!” I said, and we all had a laugh. The helpful students from the Audio-Visual club even assigned an extra student to man my video camera (for my epic thriller movie “I were a Part-time JC Lecherer”), when all I asked for was for someone to help change the tape for me.
Staying true to the topic, I shared many business lessons from the dysfunctional world of porn (I swear I was doing pure research) and the underbelly of the Wild Wild Web. I showed them where I did my best writing (toilet), the kind of things people searched for on Google to get to my site (“Paris Hilton’s sidekick conversations and pictures” and “SCGS uniform for sale”), and the proudest day of my writing life, when my website was (allegedly) accidentally banned by the Ministry of Education web servers.
Their teacher, GP Tutor and gracious MC, Mr Eddie Koh, admitted that he had just recently started his own website. I promised the students to try to get his website address for them. Heheh.
I now have a nice trophy, in appreciation of my contribution to the mangling of young minds, sitting on my mantle (I don’t really have a mantle, more like the top of the shoe cabinet, but mantle sounds better). It has an eagle etched inside a block of glass, very grand, like an Oscar for (part-time) lecturing.
My wife watched some of the presentation from my video recording when we got home, and said, “Dear, you have to slow down next time. You looked like you were on caffeine overload.” I promised her I would behave more stately and dignified in future, and to cut down on the Singlish (which would not get you very high scores in GP, for sure). I wouldn’t want to be like Phua Chu Kang, and be responsible for destroying the fragile linguistic skills of our nation’s finest minds.
Lastly, I‘d like to say congrats to “Akira” for getting a B3 for your AO Chinese (yes, I found your blog and read your innermost secrets). And I am glad you enjoyed my website and talk, Hui Keng (I found your site too).
mr brown is the accidental author of a popular website that has been documenting the dysfunctional side of Singapore life since 1997. He thinks the Ministry of Education should update their website with the correct addresses or else more people will get lost going to PJC.