Monday, June 21, 2004

I learn new things everytime I teach, I think.

Sometimes, I learn how better to deal with children. Sometimes, I refresh my knowledge or gain some new titbits that my old textbooks did not have.

Occasionally, I get gossips about TV stars, tips on where to download more freebies, ringtones, or game tips.

However, I must say one of the most enjoyable and challenging lessons comes when I have to teach what I have not learnt before.

I am now required to bank on my meagre store of historical facts, acquired from history lessons up to Sec. 2, and occasional upgrade of knowledge from casual reading of history books, to help SH with his History.

No wonder his worst subject is his humanities. I am forced to further exploit available resources to advance my, and his, knowledge in history.

Luckily, nowadays, memorising and then churning out facts in history papers is history (lame, I know). It's intepretation, discussion of sources, opinions, reliability of sources etc. that count. In short, smoking. Something I am fortunately equipped enough to do.

This leads me to recall that in Uni, I felt that an Arts education is still important. In JC, I was almost tempted to take Lit. In uni, there were always delicious discussions on readings in EL, USP Arts modules. History may be the past, but how we employ available resources to build up a picture of the past is a skill. I am starting to think that there is no real truths after all, and that historical "facts" are distorted by the action of recording itself, because human records are not perfect. However, studying the arts, intepreting the sources, or the works of writers helps us better understand how humans think and reason out on their own.

So I humbly accept the assignment to help SH in his history, and use this chance to exercise my thinking skills as well. Furthermore, the ideologies and events discussed in the syllabus make good intellectual conversational topics.

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