25 June 2003

Weapons of the Weak

Word of my fascination with short films got around, and I was forwarded this interesting student film, which some Singaporean bloggers might've already seen at Mr. Brown's website, (Use the "mirror 2" link, or go directly to http://www.tookoolfoskool.schoolreference.com/). A nice preview was suggested to me: Another Student Film, starring: local poetess Ho Toh Pun, teaching at RJC. "caught tearing up student assignment and unwarranted scolding in class by digicam".

My, my. How little things change! I was worried, with all the recent educational reforms and influx of younger teachers, that students nowadays will have it easy. I was envious at the possibility that they would get away without tasting how the education system was like 10 years ago, or even 20. Cranky me feels a blooming generation gap between these young upstarts who have it easy, with enlightened teachers and innovative CCA programmes.

The more things change, the less they change. There, I admit there is a sense of gratification at seeing a teacher lose her temper and ill-treat a student in this day and age. Comforting to know that all this enlightenment, reform, this idle talk of a Kinder, Gentler Society, has absolutely no effect in changing the basically violent relationship between teachers and students.

To be fair, I applaud the fact that students now know how to stand up for themselves, and give this a good fight. Ever remember how a certain teacher terrorised you in Primary or secondary school? If you're of my age, you'd have cowered away, and tried to get over the emotional trauma over a few years. If you were a school-kid from 5 years ago, you would've ratted to dad and mum, who would raise hell on your behalf.

Now, this is a revolutionary change. Instead of shying away from ill-treatment, or lending a knife for someone to do your dirty work, these student filmmakers are responsible and dignified enough to settle scores by themselves, using tools that they possess.

This is what I meant by the Tools of the Weak. Even if you're subservient, you still possess that little something which has power. Maybe, after all these years, things have finally changed. Generation Y, you have my respect.

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