Am I Making you Think?
music, anime, peace
sarahphina97
There's two types of "sensitive". There are the selfish sensitive people. These people take things that others say too harshly. They're too sensitive to what other people say/do etc, even if it's a small thing. The other type is the selfless sensitive type. The type that are sensitive to how others feel based on the other person's character, style, reaction, body language. I think it's very important to have the second type of sensitive. It's part of being considerate and pleasant to be around.

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Of table manners, there is just two that I cannot stand if people don't abide by. Chewing with your mouth closed, and talking without food in your mouth.

Why? I'm not terribly picky about this kind of thing. It's not because it's rude or anything; that's a side topic. But it's just plain disgusting. I'm trying to eat in a civilised manner and across from me I can hear someone's food being physically digested through mastication. I really don't need to know. If I look at the person, I see what? The salivary amylase at work? It's disgusting.

The second rule is potentially worse. Disgusting, plus the possibility that food will fly out of your mouth. Plus, once, years ago, I was talking a mile a minute while eating fish. I got a big bone stuck in my throat. Anyway, if you wanna talk while eating, try to do it so we don't hear the food sloshing around in your mouth.

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Something else, about the materialistic things of this world. Money versus happiness. This is a conversation I had with my grandpa.

Grandpa: When you grow up, you will be a doctor
Me: I don't know, maybe not (I was about to say I'd rather be a lawyer/actress/singer but he interrupted; he always interrupts...)
Grandpa: Yes, you will. Then, you will do plastic surgery. Because you don't need to see sick people. The only people you will see will be people in perfect health who are just very vain. You get a lot of money, know. Very rich
Me: Well if I ever do anything got to do with being a doctor, I'll be those doctors who research cures for diseases. Because that's interesting to me. And I don't really care if plastic surgery will get me money because I'm not interested in it and there's no point doing something you don't like even if you get loads of money. (I also wanted to say that I think plastic surgery is disgusting. Should've.)

My uncle, i.e. my Dad's bro, apparently paid his son $5 for eating durian. That's just wrong. I would never eat durian for $5 (EWWWWW). And this is like getting a lot of money for something you don't like. Like that plastic surgery thingy. It's interesting how my uncle and my dad were both brought up by my grandpa, yet they think differently. My uncle kinda followed my grandpa but my Dad decided he's generate his own opinions.
I think my dad is cool. Very very very opinionated, but morally upright. (But then, he's my dad. Of course I'd say that. He brought me up to believe in the same morals as him.)

In KL, my dad bought this book called Mat Som. By a comic artist called Lat. And the book talks about materialistic stuff versus happiness. It's quite interesting. Here's a poem in the book:
"Freedom for me
is a burden:
Whatever the leaders say
I just follow:
The brain God has given
need not be used -
except to earn a living . . . .

Doubts and
      yearnings of the spirit
      (if any)
I cure by running,
    running
from my house
    to the office
from the office
    to my house
    till all questioning
    is drowned
by the noise
    of the TV
each night.

As I gape
at the TV
I'm licking-
my fingers
that good
Kentucky chicken

And I shall care
less and less.
I want to live
this way
Another thousand years. . . . "

Honestly, there's not much to say. Happiness comes first. Money is important, but it's not everything. Don't just have a life. Don't just exist among this population of 5 million (is it 5?). Lead a good life. A fulfilling life. Live.

contortions of the lips, tongue, and surrounding muscles
music, anime, peace
sarahphina97
Sometimes I wish words didn't mean so much. For me it's okay, because I'm not so affected by the words...well, when people insult me I don't get affected. 6/11 boys immunised me. By constantly throwing them at me. And heck, I got so used to it, they all don't mean anything to me anymore. Call me a bitch? I know very well that I'm human, thank you very much. Whatever you say, if you're thinking false things, that's your problem. Your loss. I shall bundle up the issue and chuck it back in your face.

Somehow I can use words well. Manipulate them and whatnot. Comes naturally. Ask me to write out some composition on paper though, I'll freak. My hand can't write as fast as my brain wants it to, and my words come out scrawly and messy. I'll cross out a lot of things and you won't have a clue what I'm saying. So I prefer to type.

Words only flow when my thoughts flow. And my thoughts only flow when there's something worth talking about. I don't give a damn about what that poetic device connotes. But I do give a damn about those slaves taken from the Americas to the "highly profitable" slave trade back in the 15th century. I do give a damn that the negative impacts of exploration outweigh the positive because exploration was just plain simply selfish. Stupid Spaniards. Stupid Columbus. And Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. You call yourselves Christian. Ha. And Christians torture (indirectly) people because they have different coloured skin? Christians KILL JEWS just because they don't want to Hail Mary and believe that the Messiah has already come? Christians go on this rampage, even give it a name: The Spanish Inquisition, to FORCE everyone to convert?

You know what? I hate it when the history textbooks call Spain a Christian country. I absolutely cannot stand it. Because firstly, they're Catholic. And there is a difference between Catholicism and Christianity. Secondly, because they are a disgrace to the name of Christ. I am a Christian. I am a follower of Christ. That's what "Christian" means, did you realise that?

Anyway, back to words. We have to be so careful around them. Because there's so much power in the tongue. Wars can be won with words. The tongue is the power between life and death. Sometimes you don't even need to use the tongue. There was some bitch fight over some blog post. Girl committed suicide for it. Such flippant things. Why do we have to be so careless with words? Why must they be so easily twisted to mean the opposite of what they truly mean?

And it's the worst when you're communicating with words only. As in, over email, or facebook, or msn, or sms. Because people cannot see your reaction. Your tone. Your body language. They cannot gauge how much more or how much less they should say, and how they should say it. I'm very good at gauging reactions like that. My intuition is very strong, and it's easy to figure out what to say on the spot. But it's hard, with technology, the limitations of it. Emoticons don't work, even. For example, what does "><" mean to you? What does "xD" mean? What does ":/" mean to you? ":P"? "@.@"? What is the difference between "-.-ll" and "=.=ll" to you?

Ah. Perception. Perspective. Individual opinion.

Individuality.

Oh please, not the Giver again.

Singapore, Music, ABRSM and my awesome teacher
music, anime, peace
sarahphina97
This was originally written in a comment as reply to Sophia's comment on my previous post, but it was too long. So here it is.

--

Do you know how frustrated my piano/voice teacher is? She's Indian, from Singapore. But she lived in London for a good 20 years so she's as good as one of them now. So she thinks like them. And this is what she thinks of Singaporeans and music.

It's ridiculous that we send children for every single grade exam. It's hundreds of dollars for ONE exam, and at the end of it all, what are you going to do? Frame your grade 1 cert? People will LAUGH. Only your grade 8 counts. In London, kids go for grade 5 and grade 8. That's it. ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) gets its profit all from Singapore and China and Malaysia and these kiasu people. Not much from the UK itself, where the Board originates. Huh. Ironic.
Also, prices here are double that in London. Haha. Wonder why.

In Singapore, teachers teach 3 pieces a year. They teach the exam pieces. There are 3 of them. And one exam a year. So you learn 3 pieces in one year. Does no one else see how ridiculous this soungs? You could be learning 25 pieces a year, building a huge repertoire, between 5 years, then concentrate on 3 pieces for about 2 months or so for a grade 5 exam. Then go back to 25 pieces a year for a couple more years, then go for grade 8. You'd be able to call yourself a "musician". People who learn 3 exam pieces solely for exams are not "musicians". They are "people-who-get-pieces-of-paper-saying-they-passed-a-test-where-they-sat-down-and-played-3-songs-on-a-musical-instrument". I don't think these kids get more than a pass, often. Get the cert, can liao.

A lot of kids get passes. Bare passes.
Because
a) they learn their scales last minute. Scales are something that take a long long time to learn. And they are supposed to help you in your playing. That is their purpose. Their purpose is not to be something to be tested in exams.
b) Kids last minute learn Aural as well. They know nothing about the history of music til just before. They don't practice pitching, rhythm clapping, etc, til immediately before. Everything is centered around the exam. Everything is learnt solely for the purpose of the exam.
c) Teachers don't really teach how to feel the music. I have friends whom I've heard play, and there's no feeeeeeel to it. They just play the notes mechanically. A bit louder here, a bit faster here. Do they understand that louder and faster connotes that they should put a sense of urgency into it? Do they feeeeeeeel the "dolce" or the "andante" in the music? I'm really not sure. Where's the feel? The heart?
****dejavu: SHPS vs Radin Mas HCI Invites Semis 08: THBT the heart is more important than the brain****

I ask of you, do you think this is the right approach to be taking to music? Music is an art. Not something to be tested. My teacher and I were choosing songs for me to do for my grade 5 singing exam, and she likes to say that the composers must be "turning in their graves" for being graded! Which is true! These are works of art these amazing people write, and they're being put as a "grade 4 piece" or a "grade 7 piece". All for practicality, of course, but still! Wouldn't it be frustrating if you wrote this awesome piece of music and some people say it's "grade 1" level?

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This part below is supposed to be my link between the above section and what I was talking about in my reply to Sophia's comment on my previous post. Sophia, please read :)

--

So anyway. Music is a "soft skill" right? Well, it's being tested, for those who want it. And Singaporeans approach this soft skill in this way.

I guess if they made music an examinable subject in school, the essence of it would just be lost. The way many Singaporeans have lost it when they sit for all those ABRSM exams.

I remember by teacher wanted to play this Bach piece on the organ for St. Andrew's Cathedral service. And the guy in charge who's the Reverend (or equivalent of Pastor; I forgot) said "Oh, no. That's a mass. Catholics have Mass. We're Anglican." And my teacher tells me that Mass used to be both by Anglicans and Catholics, then it became less common for Anglicans, and common people think it's Catholic. (By the way, when I was in London, we visited Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral. St. Paul's is also Anglican.) And then she goes, "By the way, Bach was Protestant. Must be turning in his grave."

I really laughed when she told me Bach was Protestant.
(The Protestants are called that because they were "protesting" against the Catholics.)

-------------------

BY THE WAY! My teacher is awesomely pro and fantastic (not being ego. She really is good.) She's played in St. Paul's Cathedral (if you don't know what that is, i am disappointed :O) and she's just really good okay? She's nice, friendly, talks a lot, plays organ, piano, sings. Teaches piano and singing. If you do singing, she will insist on teaching basic piano. Because you cannot fully understand music (i.e. voice) unless you learn basic theory etc. If you are interested, please let me know ;)
Ooh and she's my late godmother's sister, and family friend.

A Child's Life in this Country
music, anime, peace
sarahphina97
I wonder if MOE realises what torture it puts children to.

And at the end of the day, its America and all those other countries that produce the Bill Gates of this world. And I don't think he even got a degree or something. Forgot. There was some super rich successful person who didn't finish primary school. And was it Einstein or Newton who never did his homework?

Maybe it's because they didn't grow up in such a rigid system. Because they weren't caged in and taught to only learn one way of describing the scientific inquiry method. There's this famous physics teacher who's really good at explaining physics, and how does he teach scientific inquiry? "You guess it. Then you test it." Because that's what it is. You guess what's going to happen then you see if it's true.
Here we are memorising "Hypothesis" "Dependent variable goes on Y axis" "materials, procedure, conclusion". Ironic; I still can't remember which stupid variable goes on which stupid axis.

How is stressing us out like this helping at all? What, preparing us for the real world?
We can learn that later. Why must we learn how to read at age 4? Caucasian kids learn when they're what, 8+? Double that age. Someone should do a case study. For all you know, the caucasian kid grew up to be a successful lawyer while the other asian one reading at 4 is a kopitiam uncle.

My dad is a doctor. I was talking through the definitions of diffusion and osmosis with him and he gives me this shocked look and goes, "I didn't even learn that til my first year of medical school." Today I told him the Bio question in the exam, the one that I didn't know how to do, and guess what? He didn't know how to do it either.

So honestly, what's the point?

By the way, did you know that in Perth, we had no exams? And very little homework. What homework there was was a lot more interesting and fun. FUN. WOW. I'VE FORGOTTEN THE MEANING OF FUN IN THE CLASSROOM. THANKS.
Does that mean that kids going to school in Perth all their life turn out unsuccessful?
Because they get to have more fun. Because they learn in a much more intuitive way.

The greater the mass of an animal, the lower the heart rate. Bio paper, I don't know how to explain that, but my common sense and intuition dictate it. I'm sorry.
That girl compared dish B with dish A and not dish E because well, ... common sense. Sorry if I cannot put common sense into words.

Maybe one day I should write there, "because common sense dictates it". See what the marker writes in response. A big red cross? Yeah, that'd be typical of this country we live in.

My Presence is Known
music, anime, peace
sarahphina97
First post. Hi there :)

Never even heard of LJ til recently. But since quite a few of my friends seem to have an LJ account, I decided, heck, why not just try it out too?

So here I am.

I shall use my blogger account for a certain type of post. Maybe posts about my day, that kind of thing. Here I'll put my inner thoughts and feelings, deeper stuff I think about. It will probably involve Christianity and Philosophical things. I think it'll be healthy for me to put it all down somewhere for safekeeping. Not sure I can rely on my brain entirely ;)

So because this is a more serious blog, I shall refrain from using smileys. And I shall keep proper use of english. On my blogger, I'm a lot more lax about that kind of thing.

I feel like putting a smiley there.

Never mind.

Okay so when I think of something good to post, I'll come back and post!

Bye!
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