Won’t waste time/space narrating what happened. Shall jump to my stand.
I think this sour relationship was perhaps been a result of our linguistic/behavioural sensitivity (or more aptly, Mr. Lim’s ability to use the right words at the right time). I find that many of our criticisms came round because we thought he might perhaps be too extreme with his words/tone, with his roars, “parasite”, “snob” and “morals”. Of course, there were other incidents which heightened the tensions between both parties, like the RJC Current Affairs Quiz issue. But well what made many of us upset is the way he used these generalisations without prior thought, and I agree with what Zhansheng said: he did exaggerate many of his points, given the emotional state he was under. It’s just like a debate gone wrong, when you get flustered, you may start contradicting yourself. As for us, I can gather that many of us are very picky when it comes to language. Same here sometimes. However, if we look at it from the bottomline, he did have his extremely valid and rational points, no matter how badly phrased they were. Things about “ill intent” (of course poorly defined) and “sensitivity”. Just like it was unfair for him to use such sweeping statements on us, it was also incorrect for us to pass judgement on him just because of the badly phrased (using this rather loosely) sentences that he used.
On the whole, I think it is definitely alright for us to thrash it out with him. From what he said today, I guess he IS a very rational person, perhaps just misguided when it comes to analysing/ predicting our behaviour/ characteristics. Even though he may be more defensive than he thinks he is, but let’s face it – if he finds something really wrong, he should at least be smart enough to do something about it. Right now what he sees is this perhaps facade of himself that puts him up as self-righteous, morally upright and even maybe respectable. Some of us (like me) can’t stand the fact that he is rather orchidaceous, and likewise he can’t understand why we are doing such things to him. Let’s take what happened today – we told Ms. Choh about what happened, and soon Mr. Lim knew about it, and came with a few misconceptions again, got really pissed off, and came back to our class. Lesson learnt: if we were to pour all our grievances to someone else, history (no pun intended) will probably repeat itself. We need to tell him DIRECT instead of indirectly. No use complaining to others when there will be misunderstandings.
As for me, I am going to email him personally. About his style of teaching: I’m going to suggest a few improvements. Well since I suppose our class has adapted to the “readings” thing, I think we should have more varied readings – varied in the sense that we need opposing viewpoints and not similar/ only one viewpoint. This might not need more paper, he can just cut the irrelevant parts in the readings. Secondly… I’ll suggest that he lowers himself to the level of a fellow speaker, instead of being a moderator during “intellectual discussion” to make the discussion more lively. That will definitely earn more respect for him than just acting as a bystander. However, I still maintain my viewpoint about him “getting over the fluff”, but of course I won’t suggest it to him explicitly.
Oh. Basketball tomorrow. Haha. And I need to do that CONSOLIDATION AND REFLECTION thingy.
One for all. All for one. Venturez ’06