Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today's lecture, Cultural Studies, is a lot more interesting than yesterday's. Partly due to the less dry topic, and partly due to the lecturers. They're a pair of Caucasians, except that one of them's American and the other's British. You can even tell by their dressing: the American lecturer (I shan't reveal the names on this blog) is in an untucked red plaid shirt and jeans, and the British one's in a tucked bluish-green shirt with floral prints, and jeans.

Okay, so I arrived about 20 minutes earlier today, since I was slightly late yesterday and so dad and I woke up earlier today. While waiting outside LT 12, this American (from Connecticut - yes, I eavesdropped, get off my case) plopped down on the table I was sitting at, next to a girl on her laptop. He was the geeky sort, the type whom girls would find easy to befriend. And he was relatively friendly, too, and receptive of Singapore.

So anyway, Charmaine took the same module I did, so at least I had someone to sit with during lecture. So, the lecturers tossed out interesting ideas and stuff to think about, in the midst of their banter. Something the American lecturer always says: "Any burning questions? Any answers? Everybody happy?" And everyone would nod or shake their head accordingly. He's a real funny guy, a live wire, intent on making everyone comfortable.

We skimmed through romance novels as a writing genre, questioned how it opens up feminist ideologies, and what it is about romance novels that make women go back to it every time despite the recurring plot. As is the case for superhero comics, like Superman. We then talked about the influence of superheroes on children, and its value as compared to Shakespeare, and the sort of stereotypes and morals it tries to instill. Really fun stuff. I'm totally looking forward to the next GEK1046 lecture.

Plus, the exam is open-book, because the lecturers don't believe in throwing us a bunch of information and then testing our memory. (I'm quoting verbatim here.) I think that's great. Not just because there's no memory work and stuff, but because look, I've been through 12 years of rigid memorising and regurgitation of information that I'm required to remember, and that I promptly forget right after the exam. This sort of curriculum would be a lot more productive, because for one thing, the topics are interesting (cultural hegemony, ideology and power, etc etc), so we'll all be motivated to do our own research and readings and won't drag our feet about it. And for another, making us memorise stuff like that doesn't make us learn. It should be a lively exchange of ideas, not just boring old imbibement of knowledge like in primary or secondary school or JC.

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