stop that

BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT

but we all need to talk cock sometimes

Questions
stop that
ngiam


Why do we need education?
Why do we need history?
Why should I teach?
Why I should teach.
Why I should teach history.
How should I teach history?

In an unlikely discussion with Edgar, the questions that I posed were transformed, sharpened, and thrown back at me. I was looking for this conversation, and I expected not to get many clear answers out of it. When I escaped the bubble of foundational education seven years ago,  four inclinations appeared for the path ahead. The first, to limit myself to sports and its science, was thankfully denied me. I say thankfully because the years have shown how physical ability diminishes alongside youth, and how finding self-worth in the body is pure foolishness. This knowledge was further unsealed with a repeated injury to the knee, coincidentally ending the possibility of the career as an infantryman (the motivations of which aren't very much different from the first). The third, journalism, and the fourth, teaching, remained constant in my considerations for higher education. Dabbling in editorial work in my first two years provided some insight on the administrative life of a written publication, but little on the actual reasons why I wanted to be involved in writing. It would be unfair to say that writing academic essays choked my enthusiasm, but it did little to encourage the creative aspect (as much as we believe we are creating new knowledge). I have since made the decision to teach history at the secondary school level. The problem (or is it one?) is that I still do not know precisely why I want to do so or even what teaching history means.

For now, I think that that's acceptable. It may even be acceptable in the future, as along as I don't forget these questions or stop trying to answer them.

Guess who's back?
stop that
ngiam
It is always a peculiar thing when one changes his mind. Why did he make the original decision? What compelled him to take it back? Does the new mind work better than the old?

And so I decided today that it's worth trying to write on this platform again. I could come up with several reasons if I had to, but above them all is the fact that I am quite unable to develop myself further without writing again. Anyone with a basic education can read; it is something else altogether to craft sentences that are clear and convincing. (What exactly do I need to convince people of?) And as I have not been sufficiently blessed or trained with the gift of speaking in this manner without the impulsivity of emotion, this is the remaining path.

My education in the institution for higher learning is coming to an end. Four years of stringing together words that made arguments that made essays that made grades. There were several opportunities for me to write creatively, yet I never took them. I was afraid, arrogant, refusing to humbly admit that I knew little and that I did not want to embarass myself by expressing an ignorant opinion. Now I walk out convinced that it is necessary for me to display my ignorance. I cannot move on without casting off these shackles.

There is something delicious about writing. The struggle for the right words and the playfulness in this craft rewards in a way that other endeavours cannot. And on such a platform, without the expectation to conform or impress, I am mischievous and joyful in a way that is reminiscent of my childhood. Limits invariably emerge: only fools cannot measure the danger of unbridled expression online. But horses, tamed and mastered, have only been bred to powerfully serve their masters, not to trample over them.

Horses come in breeds. I have never before valued proficiency in multiple languages until I learned Bahasa Indonesia and was blessed with the gift of Pramoedya Ananta Toer's works. Beliau memang adalah penulis yang paling hormat oleh saya, dan sastranya sangat mengilhami saya untuk menguasai bahasanya. Walaupun saya belum lancar, dengan latihan saya pasti biasa.

The banality in life goes on, but at least now I can try to energize dormant faculties once again.

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